Hero mum saves boy left horrifically burnt

Owen Shepherd, 11.
Owen Shepherd, 11.

A QUICK-THINKING Bridlington mum could have saved the life of an 11-year-old boy who was left horrifically burnt after playing with an aerosol and a lighter.

Owen Shepherd, 11, was left with serious burns to his face, arms, hands and legs after the accident, which happened near Belgrave Mansions, on South Marine Drive, in Bridlington last Thursday.

Mum Gayle Brown saved Owen Shepherd when he was badly burnt.

Mum Gayle Brown saved Owen Shepherd when he was badly burnt.

Carer Gayle Brown, 38, of Georgian Way, said she spotted the Bridlington School student in flames at around 12.30pm.

“I saw him from the car so I got out and shouted to him to get down on the floor and roll around, but he said that it was hurting too much,” said Mrs Brown.

“I went over to him and had him in the snow, and I tried to put the flames out.

“I asked one of the local neighbours to bring out some cling film and I wrapped his burns until the ambulance got there.”

Owen was taken by ambulance to the playing field at Hilderthorpe School and from there was airlifted to the paediatric burns unit at Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield.

Mrs Brown, who knew Owen as he used to go to Hilderthorpe Primary School – the same as her son – described him as a “really lovely little boy”.

She said: “People said to me ‘you might have saved him’ but I don’t know, you can’t say what might have happened.”

Mrs Brown was only there by chance, as she left work 30 minutes early as she had not taken her break.

“I can still see it. I don’t know what I would have been faced with if I had left work half-an-hour later,” continued Mrs Brown, who was attending a home call in her role as a carer at Allied Healthcare on Quay Road.

“I just hope he is all right and that he recovers. He asked me how bad it was, and I couldn’t lie to him.

“When the ambulance got there they bandaged his hands and face and he was taken to the helicopter. It all happened very quickly.”

A spokesperson for Humberside Fire and Rescue Service praised Mrs Brown’s efforts and said: “Gayle did exactly the right thing and we commend her for her actions and quick thinking.”

Daryl Oprey, Head of Safety for Humberside Fire and Rescue Service: “Incidents such as these are always very saddening and I wish the young boy a speedy recovery.

“I urge parents and carers to educate children about the potentials dangers of playing with lighters or matches, they can be very dangerous especially if there are flammable liquids or materials in close proximity.

“If there are any parents or carers who are concerned that their child may be playing with such materials, contact Humberside Fire and Rescue Service as we can offer advice and, if needed, fire setting intervention work.”