TWO men have been hailed heroes after saving the life of a neighbour when her home caught fire in Evesham.

Jacob Knight and Adrian Whitaker came to the rescue of the woman on Battleton Road after spotting the blaze, thought to have been caused by a cigarette, at about 9.15pm on Sunday.

Mr Knight, aged 17, first raised the alarm after noticing the fire while walking to the shop with his girlfriend, Kirby Louise Whitaker, who lives on the road.

The South Worcestershire College student from Great Comberton said: “We noticed there was a flickering, so I looked through the letter box and saw the fire and the women lay down behind the door.

“I tried to smash the door down and then I smashed the door window and tried to open it from the inside.

Then my girlfriend got her dad and we got the people out of the house next door.

“I’ve never done anything like that before. Everyone said both of us are heroes.”

Army Sergeant Mr Whitaker – Kirby’s father – played down his part in the rescue saying pulling the lady to safety was all part of his training.

“I kicked the door off its hinges and pushed her out the way of the door. Then I pulled her into the road and put her into the recovery position. My partner called the fire brigade and got three dogs that were in a shed in the back garden. I don’t like to blow my own trumpet – being in the Army for 21 years you get all the training – but we did save her life, all of us together.”

Hereford and Worcester Fire Service said the woman had a lucky escape. Station Commander Toby Kempton, said: “Thanks to an early alert from the smoke alarm, the woman was brought to safety and damage inside the house was kept to a minimum.

It would have been a different story if passers-by had not heard the alarm and reacted as they did.”