Search

Woman speaks of dramatic Regent’s Canal boat blaze rescue

12:40 22 May 2013

Tracey Corkish with the crutch that helped save a man

Tracey Corkish with the crutch that helped save a man's life Pic: Dieter Perry

Dieter Perry

A woman has spoken of how she and two men helped rescue a man from a burning canal boat.

Witnesses spoke of “pandemonium” as the man aboard the Regent’s Canal narrow boat screamed for help from passers-by as the cabin was engulfed by flames.

The rescuers pulled him out of the boat before putting him in the water and dragging him to safety.

He was taken to the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel with severe burns to his hands after the blaze at about 5am on Monday.

About 50 residents were evacuated from a nearby block of flats because the emergency services feared gas aboard the boat might explode.

Rescuer Tracey Corkish, 41, of nearby City Garden Row, was passing by when she and her friend Terry saw the flames.

She said: “The guy inside was screaming. We went round the back and he couldn’t get out, so we smashed the window.

“His hands were both bright red. It looked like he was holding a tissue or something. We went in to grab him and that’s when I realised it was his skin.

“It just melted from his hands. He must have tried to put the fire out with his hands.”

Melting

The pair then pulled him out by his clothes and put him in the water.

A third man then ran from a nearby flat and the three rescuers used Tracey’s crutch to pull the man from the water to safety onto another boat.

Tracey added: “It was horrible. It just seemed to go on forever.”

Peter Flack, whose flat in Dame Street overlooked the fire, said: “There was a girl and a man. I don’t know where they came from, but they got him off. I think they saved his life.

“You could just hear the man shouting and screaming ‘get me off, get me out of here, quick, quick’. It was pandemonium really.”

He added: “The windows started cracking. You could smell the fibreglass melting and everything.”

Four fire crews from Clerkenwell, Islington, Shoreditch and Millwall were called at 5.32am and firefighters had the flames under control just over an hour later.

London Ambulance Service said two crews were sent and the man, in his 30s, was treated for burns to his hands before being taken to hospital.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

0 comments

Latest Islington News Stories

Yesterday, 15:00
Children play in the street at the recent event

Play time brought traffic to a stand still on June 24 as Thornhill Primary school shut off a section of Lofting Road in Barnsbury to give its pupils a play time to remember.

Yesterday, 13:00
Love doctor Cate Mackenzie

Love doctor Cate Mackenzie has been teaching singletons the art of romance in her energetic workshops at the The Joker of Penton Street pub.

Yesterday, 11:00
Islington Giving supporters 'Walk the Line' and learn more about their borough

Islington’s rich/poor divide is well documented - but the Islington Giving charity has helped 60 people see that for themselves.

Yesterday, 10:31
The orchestra outside St Mary Brookfield Church in Tuffnell Park

The London Medical Orchestra raised £2,000 for the Islington Centre for Refugees and Migrants when it played in Tufnell Park on Sunday.

Yesterday, 07:00
Jeremy Corbyn leaves his Holloway home yesterday morning: Lauren Hurley/PA Wire

Councillors from Islington Labour Group are facing allegations that it doesn’t support Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the party.

Wed, 17:30
The team at Cobble Lane Cured

Usually, cured meats such as ham, salami and bresoala are associated with our European counterparts.

Wed, 16:01
Headteacher Damien Parrott and Solihull coordinator Yasmin Stephenson with some of the children

A Highbury primary school is handing out free parenting courses in a UK-first pilot scheme.

Wed, 14:15
Sgt Hugh Victor Hember in his uniform

“I have heard of our post being stopped and everything is being censored. Don’t be scared or worried if a sentence has had a rubber to wash it out.. Tell mother I received Isobel’s letter. I must close now. Love to you all, Vic.”

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news

Competitions

Copyright: Erich Spiegelhalter/Schwarzwald

Embark on a three day round trip (including flights) during which you will taste local specialities such as the famous Black Forest Gateau, discover nature, absorb vibrant city culture, learn about technological innovations, indulge yourself in the plentiful wellness spas, take some shots on the golf course, and enjoy family fun at Germany’s largest theme park.

£15k prize bundle

Imagine having the opportunity to win an incredible £15,000 bundle of some of the most amazing prizes available. Well, for one lucky contest entrant that dream could soon become a reality because we at MyOffers are offering an incredible free prize bundle that will make even the most hardened person wild with excitement.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe