'Instinct kicked in' for retired firefighter who helped save woman trapped under fridge after Seven Sisters explosion
A retired firefighter said he "didn't think twice" before rushing to help a woman who became trapped after an explosion at a house in Seven Sisters, Neath Port Talbot.
Stephen Lewis, who runs a fish and chip shop in the area, was one of the first people on the scene on Wednesday afternoon and helped free the woman from the debris.
Mr Lewis said "instinct kicked in" when he and others had to pry the woman out from underneath a fridge using a large piece of timber.
A 31-year-old woman and two children, who are both under the age of six, were seriously injured in the incident. They all remain in hospital and are said to be in a critical but stable condition.
Stephen Lewis was in his garden working on his patio at the time of the explosion but was alerted when he suddenly heard a loud noise.
He and others on the street rushed to see what had happened and where shocked to see the devastation.
Mr Lewis retired from the fire service around 10 years ago but said "instinct kicked back in" as he and a group of people rushed to help.
Several people, including Mr Lewis and another retired fire fighter, entered the building from the back and found the woman wedged underneath a fridge. They passed out debris in a chain and eventually prized the fridge off of her using a piece of timber.
The chip shop owner described the situation as "surreal" and said he only came to terms with what had happened later that evening after returning home and continuing work on his patio.
Mr Lewis said since the explosion, the community has come together and those involved in the rescue have received messages of gratitude from people all over, not just from the local area.
He added that he hopes the woman and two children are alright and he is thinking of them.
Emergency services including police, ambulance, air ambulance and fire service were called to Church Road shortly after 2pm Wednesday afternoon after reports of an explosion.
Two boys, aged two and five, were taken by air ambulance to Southmead Hospital in Bristol, while a 31-year-old woman was taken by ambulance to Morriston Hospital.
The cause of the explosion is under investigation.