Hero taxi driver saved woman as flames engulfed Bath tearoom

Amir Hamadamin saved a woman and her dog from a burning building Credit: BPM Media

A hero taxi driver has described the moment he rushed into a burning building to save a woman and her dog from a fire.

Amir Hamadamin, from Newport, was driving past The Tollgate tearoom just before 3am on Sunday, March 27 on his way back to Wales.

It was then he saw what looked like flames coming from a property and broke down the door to help.

The 40-year-old said: "On the way back I was on the A46 when on my side I saw something that looked like a fire. I wasn't 100 per cent sure. I decided to reverse back, I could then see flames coming out of the roof of the house."

Amir Hamadamin Credit: BPM Media

"I said to myself 'oh my god' and got as close to the house as I could and started to beep my horn and flash my lights. I called 999 and as I was on the phone kept beeping my horn.

"I was trying to find the post code but couldn't, I ended up giving them the name of the car park next door and they got it. That's when I got out of my car and tried to break down the front door but I couldn't make it move even with all my strength.

"Suddenly I could hear a dog barking and my heart just melted. I was looking for a way into the building so I went around the back. I surprised myself with my strength as I managed to break a wooden gate and then threw it through a back door which was mostly glass.

"I can't believe how strong I was then to be able to do that, it must have been adrenaline. I went into the house and there was a lot of smoke. I was panicking, I could hear the dog barking but didn't know where.

The fire damaged the roof of The Tollgate Credit: ITV

"I ended up finding another door and breaking that but ended up back in the garden - so I went back in again. The dog had stopped barking I was calling out as I heard the sound of the fire - the wood crackling and melting, it must have been the roof on fire.

"When the dog stopped barking I thought 'oh no, is it dead?'. Then suddenly the lady was coming down the stairs. I couldn't believe it.

"She was asking where was Ricky, I thought Ricky may be another person but that was dog. I said to her we need to get out. It was then I saw the blue lights through the window. I pointed them out to her and said they'll get Ricky.

"When I heard nothing from the dog, I did think it had died and that I may be following it soon if we didn't get out. Before I rushed in I just knew I had to do it, despite the fire, there was life in there you know."

Firefighters from Avon Fire and Rescue arrived on the scene and officers quickly got to work to save the tearoom from burning down.

Avon Fire and Rescue confirmed the building was well alight when they arrived. The fire had spread and was affecting the business premise as well as the house attached.

Tollgate tearoom Credit: BPM Media

The service said the fire started in the ground floor kitchen area, burning the roof of the business premise. They confirmed the woman was taken to hospital and the cause of the fire is thought to be accidental due to an electrical fault.

Amir said he has not spoke to the woman he rescued yet but hopes in the future he can "pop in" to the tearoom when it is rebuilt to say hello.

The Tollgate put a message on Facebook saying: "The Tollgate will be closed for the foreseeable future due to a fire in the early hours of Sunday morning. Thank you to the passing taxi driver that raised the alarm and helped evacuate, we will be in touch.

"We would like to thank the fire service who did an amazing job in saving our lovely building, not to mention Ricky the dog too. Sorry for any inconvenience caused to our guests booked in for Mothers Day. We will be back! Thank you so much for all of your kind words of support and offers of assistance."

It took six firefighters wearing breathing apparatus to put out the flames.