Mother praises firefighters after they comforted her autistic son during torrential rain

Credit: Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service

A crew of friendly firefighters have been praised by a Gateshead mother after they comforted her autistic son during a storm.

 During flash floods on 5 October this year, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) received a call about an electrical fire in Low Fell.

Stormy weather across the region had caused a number of roads to flood and sparked the blaze at the property on Durham Road.

The crews from Birtley Community Fire Station and one from Gateshead Community Fire Station were able to extinguish the fire with minimal damage.

 But while they were there, their attention was drawn to a schoolboy who was watching them from the back lane.

They approached 11-year-old Ryan and soon learnt from his mother Lorna that he was autistic and had been struggling to adjust to a new school.

He was also terrified by the stormy weather but his day soon turned around when the firefighters invited him to inspect their kit.

Credit: Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service

They showed off the thermal camera and answered questions from inquisitive Ryan, who told them he dreamed of being a firefighter.

He has since been invited down to meet the kind-hearted crews at Birtley and today (Thursday) his mother has praised the crews for making him feel safe in a storm.

Mother-of-two Lorna said “I wanted to say a huge thank you for the kindness and patience they showed on what was a busy day.

 “Both crews made my little boy who is having a really rough time at the moment very happy.

Watch Manager Jeff Haywood, who was part of the crew responding to the fire, said he was glad the crew helped Ryan to feel safe.

He said “It’s always great when we get the opportunity to speak to younger members of the public and explain all the different sides of the job.

Credit: Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service

“Hopefully speaking to us and getting to know what we do will help inspire the next generation of firefighters.

 Ryan's love of firefighters comes from his passion for watch hit HBO show Chicago Fire with his mum Lorna and his aunty.