A grieving teenager risked his own safety to run into a house that was on fire to save the life of an elderly woman.
Marcus Evans, 19, was walking home from his local shop in Baglan, Neath Port Talbot, on Thursday afternoon when he noticed that something was wrong.
There was smoke billowing from one of the houses but at that point it was unclear if anybody was inside.
A PCSO was already in attendance and had kicked down one of the doors to enter the house, but the smoke was too thick. Marcus decided to try to enter the property himself when he realised there was somebody trapped inside.
“I went to the shop on Thursday afternoon and as I was walking back I saw smoke coming from this house’s chimney,” he said.
“The PSCO had already called the fire service and had tried to get in himself but the smoke was just too intense. I thought it would take a few minutes for help to arrive so I decided to try and get in because I could hear the woman coughing inside.
“The first time, I couldn’t manage it - the smoke was too much. So I had to come back out and have a breather. I then went back in to get her. She was lying by the back door and by this point she was unconscious, but thankfully I was able to bring her out.”
The woman, who is 79, suffered injuries in the fire and was taken to hospital, where she remains.
The incident comes two years after Marcus' mother died from cancer.
“I couldn’t save my own mother so I wanted to save somebody else’s,” he said.
“I was just focusing on getting her out of the house and I just wanted
to do what I could. Everyone has been very supportive since it happened.”
The local community has inundated social media with praise of Marcus' bravery.
Team Ruby, a local charity based in Port Talbot which raises money for good causes in the area, has already presented Marcus with a cash reward.
“Team Ruby helped out a lot when my mum was still with us,” said Marcus. “They supported the family and raised money when she was ill.”
The charity, like the whole community, has thanked Marcus and said “the courage and bravery shown from such a young man is inspirational to us all."
It added: "Well done Marcus. We are all so proud of you.”