Hero Scaffolders Save Man from Fiery Middlesbrough Explosion

Premier Scaffolding Services scaffolders James McTaggart, Tony Calvert and Rob Freeman
Premier Scaffolding Services scaffolders James McTaggart, Tony Calvert and Rob Freeman. Credit: Teesside Live

In a scene reminiscent of a blockbuster movie, three scaffolders sprang into action after a house exploded in Middlesbrough, rescuing a man from the rubble and preventing further disaster.

The dramatic incident occurred last Tuesday afternoon at Kirkland Walk in Park End, Middlesbrough, leaving the scaffolders and local residents shaken.

The three scaffolders, Tony Calvert, Rob Freeman, and James McTaggart, were working on a scaffolding job opposite the semi-detached house when they witnessed the explosion. Tony, 34, described the scene to Teesside Live as being akin to a “nuclear bomb” going off, with a mushroom cloud of smoke and debris filling the air.

Without regard for their own safety, the trio immediately rushed towards the blast. Rob, 36, entered the adjoining house to assist the female occupant while Tony and 21-year-old James searched for the source of the screams they could hear. They soon located a man trapped under the rubble at the front door of the exploded house.

The blast affected Twelve houses. Credit: Teesside Live

“We started lifting all the rubble off him and we could barely make him out because he was so burnt,” Tony recounted.

Their quick thinking and bravery were instrumental in saving the man’s life, who was later airlifted to the Royal Victoria Infirmary with severe burns and remains in critical condition.

Credit: Teesside Live

The explosion, which occurred around 12:40 PM, led to a swift response from emergency services. A fleet of police, fire, and ambulance vehicles arrived on the scene, with officers evacuating nearby homes as a precaution. The blast affected Twelve houses, prompting evacuations on Kirkland Walk and nearby Errington Avenue.

The explosion’s cause is under investigation, with structural assessments being conducted to determine the future of the affected homes. The scaffolders, all from Jarrow and employed by Premier Scaffolding in Hebburn, have been hailed as heroes for their swift and selfless actions.

Reflecting on the incident, Tony said, “It was like something you see in the movies and not like anything I have ever seen before. We just acted instinctively to help.” The trio’s actions undoubtedly prevented further injuries and highlighted the community spirit in times of crisis.

As investigations continue, the residents of Park End are left to grapple with the aftermath of the explosion, grateful for the heroism of Tony, Rob, and James. Their courageous response serves as a testament to the bravery and quick thinking of ordinary people in extraordinary situations.