Watford Community Housing repairs team ‘superhero’ acts quickly to extinguish van fire
Andrew Wallington, a Multi-Skilled Operative from our repairs team, has been hailed as a ‘superhero’ after he saved one man’s livelihood by using a jetting machine to put out a car fire he saw on St Albans Road on his way to a repair job.
Lee Harwood of Boundary Way was driving early on the morning of Tuesday 9th January when he saw smoke coming from the engine of his van. “I did the one thing you’re not supposed to do and opened the bonnet to inspect the situation – as soon as I did I saw the flames and started to panic” Lee said. As a handyman and gardener, the tools in the van were Mr Harwood’s livelihood – a fire would have meant lost or damaged tools, putting him out of work and out of pocket.
Luckily, at that moment Andrew Wallington, a member of the Watford Community Housing repairs team for almost four years, was driving past on his way to a morning repairs job. He saw the flames and immediately knew he had what it took to save the van, quickly pulling around to begin tackling the fire.
Recounting the good deed, Andrew said: “I had filled up my high-pressure jetting machine that morning, so when I saw the fire I knew I had something in my van that could put it out. It was a case of ‘I know I can do it, so why not?’ – I just saw someone in need of assistance and knew I could help.” Andrew jumped out of his van, put out the fire with the jetting machine, reassured Lee that the fire was out and continued on his way to work.
Tracey Woods, visiting Watford from Oxford, also saw the act of bravery. She said “It was like he was already a firefighter! He just hopped out with no thought for his own safety and did all he could to put out the fire – he took it on as if it was nothing. It all happened so fast, it was like I’d seen a superhero! It was so lucky he was there”.
Mr Harwood agreed, saying: “I’m very lucky that Andrew was there. I’d like to give a massive thanks to him – without him driving past at that exact moment I could very easily have lost my livelihood”.
Stuart Thompson, Repairs Manager for Watford Community Housing, said: “We’re very proud to have such quick-thinking and community-minded team members. Andrew is an asset to the repairs team and we’re grateful to him for taking the right action at the right time.”