A quick-thinking Dundee handyman has told how he used his ladder to rescue a young couple from a smoke-filled building.
Kenny Hill, 48, saw residents were trapped in their flats on Union Street after a blaze broke out on the ground floor of the common close on Thursday.
He saw students Rebecca Frame and Verneri Hietala hanging out the window of their first floor flat screaming, and used his ladder to bring them to safety.
Kenny, who runs Handyman Property Maintenance, said: “I was dropping keys off when I saw smoke coming out of a close. It was very black smoke.
“A couple of people were shouting 'help'. I got the ladders off the van and got the people to safety.
“They were panicking because there was only one way out: through the window. They were trapped.
“It is what anyone else would have done in the same situation.”
Kenny added that the students he rescued were on the first floor and he was unable to reach the residents in the floors above but tried to reassure them.
Rebecca, 26, and Verneri, 23, found themselves trapped in their home after the blaze broke out at around 4pm yesterday.
“We heard the alarm going off, which was unusual as we’ve never had a problem with it before,” said Rebecca.
“We could smell smoke in the hallway but we couldn’t figure out where it was coming from.
“We were debating jumping out the window, but luckily Kenny was there with his ladder and we got out.
“We just wanted to get out. You worry about if you’re going to panic, but you don’t really have time to think about it.
“Once I got down the panic set in and I started shaking.”
“Kenny’s our hero,” she said.
Residents of the other five flats in the building were instructed to stay by the windows facing out onto Union Street while Tayside Fire and Rescue ensured the building was safe.
The fire in the close is believed to have started in a mattress at about 2.45pm on Thursday.
It was quickly extinguished, but residents were trapped as they could not get out through the close.
The fire was put out quickly by firefighters and there were no injuries. It was the second major blaze in Dundee in the space of 36 hours.
Earlier, 15 people had to be evacuated after a blaze at flats on Garland Place on Wednesday at around 10.30pm.
Two people were taken to hospital for smoke inhalation and a firefighter was treated for a minor shoulder injury.