Off-duty trainee Stoke Newington fireman saves man from burning car

An off-duty trainee fireman leapt into action to drag a passenger from a burning car after he witnessed a horrific road smash on his day off.

Nathan Julien, who works at Stoke Newington fire station, was on his way to his brother’s birthday party in Tottenham last Saturday afternoon (June 2) when he came across a three-car pile up on Watermead Way.

The drivers of two of the cars were still trapped behind the wheels - and one of the cars was alight.

The 25-year-old firefighter said: “People told me not to intervene, but as soon as I saw smoke coming from one of the cars I realised it was serious.

“I managed to pull the man out and, with the help of a member of the public, dragged him up the road. As soon as we’d got him clear, the car burst into flames and turned into a fireball.”

Despite the intense flames nearby, Nathan ran back and pulled the driver from the other car.

Sadly, the second man later died on the way to hospital, and the fire brigade officer in charge of the incident said the first man, who suffered chest injuries, would have died too had it not been for Nathan’s actions.

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Nathan, of Chatsworth Road, Clapton, said: “I just did what I’ve been trained to do. I was really sad to hear one of the men didn’t survive - my thoughts are with his family and friends.”

The firefighter, who has an eight-year-old daughter, Georgia, and a son, Denai, six, only joined the brigade last July, and his mum was so proud she took out an advert in the Gazette congratulating her son.

“The other firefighters stuck it up at the station and I got a lot of teasing for that,” Nathan said, “so it’s funny I’m in the Gazette again - I bet my mum will go out and get lots of copies!”

Nathan is now set to receive a bravery award from the brigade.

London Fire Commissioner, Ron Dobson, said: “Firefighter Julien’s actions were nothing short of heroic. He put his own safety aside in order to pull these two men from the burning cars.

“Nathan is the sort of individual who makes the London Fire Brigade the fantastic organisation that it is.”