cricketer turns hero in house fire rescue
Thursday 22nd May 2003
Whilst spending a night out with friends, little did Huyton cricketer, Peter White (pictured left), think that a few hours later he would be rescuing a family from a blazing house.
Peter saved two young children from certain death after rescuing them as they choked on poisonous fumes in their burning home. Peter, 19, risked his own life to go into the house after hearing the children's mother scream for help.
The terrace property, on Bluebell Lane, Huyton, was filled with lethal cyanide fumes produced from a stack of video tapes which had caught fire in the front room.
Peter put his jumper over his mouth and dashed upstairs where he picked six year old Kerri-Louise Toner and took her to safety.The girl's mother, Diana Toner, then said her eight year old son Aaron was also trapped upstairs in his bedroom. Peter ran in again but, because the smoke had thickened, he had to feel his way towards the crying child. He gathered Aaron in his arms and ran out of the burning house as paramedics and fire crews arrived, Mrs Toner and her two children are now recovering from the effects of smoke in Whiston Hospital.
Mrs Toner said: "He is a real hero and I am just so glad he was there for me and the children."
Peter, who also boxes and lives nearby, rescued the children around 2:30 am yesterday morning (Wednesday, May 21) after he was dropped off in a taxi following a night out.
Peter, a fire and security alarm fitter said: "The mother was really in a panic and I managed to get the girl out first and her mum held her. I put my jumper over my face because of the smoke, but could not see a thing as I tried to go upstairs to get the boy. I felt his leg and picked him up, then went back outside before the fire crew arrived to put out the fire.
"At the time I didn't really think how dangerous it was and I just wanted to get them out. I am really happy that they are getting better."
Today Peter's father, amateur boxing organiser Ronnie White, said: "I am really proud of my son and what he did was really brave."
Huyton fire station sub officer John Griffiths said the children would have died if Peter had not been there to rescue them. He added: "He did really well in the situation because the cyanide fumes would have killed the little boy and girl. "The fire started from an electrical box in the living room and when it caught the video tapes, the fumes were produced and the whole of the downstairs is very badly damaged."