A PENSIONER saved his disabled neighbour's life after his bungalow was gutted by fire.
Victor Goodall, 77, was praised by firefighters for his bravery in dragging the man to safety from the blaze in Bishopthorpe, near York.
Mr Goodall saved his neighbour Richard just before the bedroom window of his semi-detached bungalow in Vernon Close blew out at around 10.10am today.
North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service station manager Lee Smith said: "The neighbour, Mr Goodall, saw the smoke and rescued him from the fire. He saved the guy's life."
Mr Smith said there had been a 'flashover' in the bedroom.
He said: "The temperature inside that room got to the point where everything ignited at the same time.
"The force of that has blown the window out.
"That happened just as Mr Goodall and the occupier were 10 metres from the property.
"It was very fortunate that the occupier had such a brave neighbour."
Richard, who is in his 40s and uses a mobility scooter, was treated for smoke inhalation, but emergency services at the scene said there had been no more serious injuries.
Mr Goodall and his wife Jean have lived two doors down from where the fire hit for 14 years.
He said: "I didn't realise what I had done. I just dragged him out.
"We were going shopping to Tesco. I was getting the bags out when I smelt smoke.
"I thought it was someone burning something in their garden.
"I went to the side of the house and saw smoke coming from Richard's place.
"I just went in and dragged him out.
"Just after I dragged him out, the bedroom window exploded."
The former soldier and painter and decorator added: "I had to get him out.
"I was panicking about the gas. The fire went up so fast."
Mrs Goodall said: "I have never seen a fire like that with such big flames coming out."
Liz and Bernie Coyne have lived in the adjoining bungalow for eight years.
Mrs Coyne said: "We had our four grandchildren here this morning.
"We got them out straight away. Fortunately, nobody was badly hurt.
"There was smoke coming out of our roof, but fortunately it was just smoke.
"If it hadn't have been for Victor, I don't think he would have made it out.
"It was horrific. It was the worst fire I have seen since one at Portakabin where I used to work."
Fire crews were first alerted to the blaze via the bungalow's warden alarm.
Officers used two breathing apparatus to deal with the blaze and are still investigating its cause.
Mr Smith said: "We believe it started in the bedroom area.
"It was under control in about 30 minutes, but we then had to make sure the fire had not spread to the property next door.
"We also had to cut away some tiles from the roof."