Bridlington mum named ‘local hero’

Gayle Brown gets local hero award.
Gayle Brown gets local hero award.

A Bridlington mum has been dubbed a “local hero” at an awards ceremony for her potentially life-saving actions earlier this year.

Gayle Brown, 38, won a public vote to scoop the title at the Humberside Fire and Rescue Service’s (HFRS) glittering Community Awards ceremony for her quick reaction to save 11-year-old Owen Shepherd who had become engulfed by flames.

She said: “I was working at the time, I pulled out of the lady’s driveway and this fireball just appeared in front of me screaming.

“I stopped my car, I rolled him in the snow and raised the alarm. What was more of a shock was that I knew the lad, he used to go to the same school as my son and he used to say hello to my little boy.”

The incident happened in January after Owen had caught fire while playing with paint thinners and a lighter near Belgrave Flats in Bridlington. Gayle acted fast to jump from her car and roll him in the snow before administering first aid by wrapping his burns in cling film, and shouting to raise the alarm. Owen suffered severe burns, but a spokesperson for HFRS said he may not have survived if it had not been for Gayle’s actions.

On Thursday 24 September Gayle was accompanied by her husband Austin to the awards in Hessle, and said: “It was overwhelming. I was shaking and I was in bits. I asked family and friends to vote for me and people I know, but I don’t have that many friends! It is nice to know that people voted for me.

“I was a great night, amazing people who went to the awards, everyone deserved to win.”

For a full report see tomorrow’s Free Press out on Thursday 3 October.