May 18 2013 Latest news:
by Flora Drury
Thursday, June 7, 2012
A trainee firefighter has been hailed as a hero after dragging a seriously injured man from a smoking car minutes before it burst into a ball of flames in Tottenham.
Nathan Julien is to be given a bravery award after he and a member of the public pulled the man from his car following the three-car smash on Watermead Way early on Saturday afternoon.
The officer in charge of the incident has since said had Mr Julien not acted so quickly, the man almost certainly would have died.
Firefighter Julien, 25, had been on his way to his younger brother’s birthday party when he saw the three-car accident which closed the busy road for a number of hours.
Three people had already escaped one of the cars, but Mr Julien noticed two of the drivers were still trapped in their cars - and one of them had caught fire.
He said: “People told me not to intervene but as soon as I saw smoke coming from one of the cars I realised it was serious. I managed to pull the man out and with the help of a member of the public, dragged him up the road. As soon as we’d got him clear the car burst into flames and turned into a fireball.”
The man was then taken to hospital, suffering chest injuries.
Unfortunately - as the Journal has previously reported - a second man Mr Julien helped free from the wreckage of his car died on the way to hospital, despite medics battling for an hour-and-a-half to save him.
London Fire Brigade commissioner Ron Dobson said Mr Julien, who is a trainee on the red watch at Stoke Newington fire station, is a credit to the brigade.
“Firefighter Julien’s actions were nothing short of heroic. He put his own safety aside in order to pull these two men from the burning cars.
“He is the sort of individual who makes the London Fire Brigade the fantastic organisation that it is and he is a credit to the brigade.”
But while his senior officers have praised his bravery, Mr Julien - who has only been a trainee for just more than a year - said he was just doing his job.
“I just did what I’ve been trained to do. My main focus was getting those men out of the burning cars. I was really sad to hear one of the men didn’t survive, my thoughts are with his family and friends.”