A MAN who rescued three young children from a house fire in
Leigh has been commended for his bravery by Greater Manchester Fire
and Rescue Service (GMFRS).
Phil Keane, 29, received the award in a ceremony at Leigh Fire
Station on Tuesday, April 16.
It followed an incident on Gregory Street in the early hours of
Sunday, January 20 when a fire broke out in the kitchen of a family
home. It was sparked accidentally when cooking was left
Shortly afterwards, Phil and his girlfriend Gemma Greenhalgh
heard shouts for help from across the road and ran outside.
Phil kicked the door open and ran into the house but was beaten
back by smoke. He then pitched a ladder, held by Gemma, and
carried three children aged eight, six and three to safety, just as
fire engines from Leigh, Hindley and Atherton arrived.
Fire crews then rescued the rest of the family, a man, woman and
10-year-old boy before putting the fire out.
Phil was awarded a Chief Fire Officer's Commendation in front of
firefighters at Leigh Fire Station by Assistant Chief Fire Officer
Mr O'Reilly said: "Without question, Phil's courageous actions
saved the lives of three young children and he should be very
"For firefighters this is their job, but it's not Phil's, so he
was incredibly brave.
"Thanks to his actions, together with those of GMFRS crews from
across Wigan Borough, a tragedy was prevented and the entire family
Phil said: "I just did what anybody would do, when Gemma heard
the lady shouting to save her kids I just acted on instinct, I've
got children myself.
"I am happy but a little embarrassed to receive this award, but
carrying the children to safety did give me a good feeling that
"I'm definitely not a hero - but I'd quite like to be a
firefighter now after that experience, which is something I'll
A second man, 23-year-old Jordan Crosby, who helped to kick open
the door, was unable to attend the ceremony but has also been
awarded a commendation for his part in the rescue effort.