A man who risked his life to put out a fire after a blaze broke out in his neighbours’ kitchen has been hailed for his actions.

Alex Everett and his family faced the prospect of losing their home, in Stoneleigh Road, when his partner Leanne came back from a school run to find their kitchen had gone up in flames.

With the house “engulfed in smoke”, she frantically knocked on her neighbour Wesley Neal’s door before he rushed into the house to tackle the blaze.

Despite suffering from a fractured shoulder injury, and having sliced his finger in the process, the scaffolder helped get it under control before firefighters arrived.

The home is currently uninhabitable but dad-of-two Mr Everett is grateful for his neighbour’s actions as it could’ve been much worse.


The aftermath of the kitchen fire

“Words can’t comprehend, seriously,” he said.

“The only things we've lost, luckily enough, is the kitchen basically. A hole had started to form in the ceiling of the kitchen where the fire was so strong, so if Wesley hadn't done what he'd done we wouldn't have a house because it would've caught the whole of upstairs.

“We owe our home and all the memories we have inside the house, and the memory boxes of our children to him.

“People like Wesley need to be recognised and praised for their brave and selfless acts.”

Mr Everett and his partner have memory boxes in their home which hold invaluable family items, having been saved from the fire.

His neighbour and friend is said to have since recovered from the incident, but Mr Neal was “shocked” by how quickly he reacted himself that afternoon on November 29.

He said: “I'm upstairs lying on my bed just resting, Leanne's knocked on my door. It was kind of a thud on the door so I looked out the top of my window and I could see that she was kind of panicking.

“I've come to the front door, I've opened it and she said to me, 'Wesley my house is on fire!'

“I just quickly grabbed a bucket, ran down to her house - I didn't even have time to put any shoes on - and there was just thick black smoke pouring out of the house.

“It was intense in there, I couldn't even see my hand in front of my face. It was that thick. It happened so fast, and after I put the fire out the fire brigade turned up.

“I'm just glad everybody is all right and they've still got all their memories.”


Wesley (left) with Alex's partner Leanne

What’s more is that Alex and Wesley grew up on Roundshaw Estate in Wallington and reconnected when Alex moved into Stoneleigh Road two years ago.

Although they moved away and stopped talking for a number of years, they recognised each other at one point and have remained friends ever since.

Residents in the same streets were also praised by the pair, having offered to take Mr Everett’s children in while also offering out their extra rooms.

The London Fire Brigade has been contacted for further comment.