TWO workmen who were described as heroes as they ran towards a burning building to help people living inside say they were only doing what anyone would have done in similar circumstances.

Vincent Yearsley and Chris Vale, from Warrington, are engineers for Openreach and were working when they noticed a strange smell last Wednesday, April 3.

They were up in Glasgow working on broadband upgrades when the drama unfolded in a first floor flat of a four-storey tenement building.

Vincent, from Bruche, said: “I turned to Chris and said ‘can you smell incense?’ And then we noticed there was smoke coming out of the flat.”

Their actions featured in the Evening Times newspaper in Glasgow where they were described as heroes.

The two men began alerting residents to the smoke billowing out of the first floor flat.

Indeed they acted so quickly that it was somebody else who called the fire service.

"To be honest we just started to help and it didn't even cross my mind to call the fire brigade", Vincent, 40, said.

“We ran over and initially banged on the first window on the ground floor, and then banged on the second window.

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“The guy didn’t really know what was going on, he was in his pyjamas and just like ‘what, what’s going on?’”.

Risking their own safety the men pushed the front door to the building and found it was open and went inside.

Vincent said: “It wasn’t smoky downstairs, but as I was going in the woman (who lives in the flat that was ablaze) was coming out her flat.

“She literally came out, she just had a doll with no head in her hand, she was in her pyjamas and her face was black, just covered in soot.

“Chris helped her across the road. She was quite distressed when the fire brigade turned up they gave her one of those foil blankets.

“She was screaming at us before they arrived.

"People said we were heroes but I think anyone would do the same. We were there for a few days afterwards and people kept thanking us for what we did, but I think anyone's reactions would have been the same.

"It is surreal.

"We were working on a quiet road early in the morning and the next thing, it is packed with emergency services.”

Chris, 28, from Newton, added: “She was screaming at me asking why we’re not helping her, and if we were the fire service. We tried to calm her down.”

The woman was attended to by emergency services and taken away by an ambulance shortly after, the men said.

Before the fire crews arrived the men spotted another neighbour in the window of a second floor flat.

“We were just shouting to him, ‘get out, you need to get out’, and he was saying he couldn’t and he was trapped,” Vincent said. There was also a dog trapped in the top floor flat.”

Vincent helped the man from the ground floor flat out from the lobby into the street.

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“I offered him my hat and coat, it was freezing and it was raining and he was just in his pyjamas,” Vincent said.

Once fire crews brought the flames under control the man on the second floor and the dog were led to safety.

Vincent said: “They got the fire under control quite quickly and the dog came out after that, the dog was on the top floor above the fire. It was quite a relief when they got the dog out.”

The men said a friend of one of the residents came over and thanked them for helping to get people out and giving the man his coat and hat.

“All we did was help people out from the landing really and I gave the guy my coat,” Vincent said.

He added that the building had been totally gutted by the fire.