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"The terraced house was well alight on the ground floor and they were waiting to be rescued from a bedroom window.

One of South Yorkshire longest serving fire officers has stepped down Nike Jacket Womens Black

"Over my career, the service has also worked hard on community safety and one of the very significant improvements has been that the number of accidental deaths in house fires has fallen from 15 to 30 per year to around four or five.

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"It's down to a combination of educational work involving partner agencies including South Yorkshire Police and the councils, installation of smoke alarms and, in some cases, different building construction."

"This was a rescue of a heavily pregnant lady and her husband from the first floor of a house fire in Wincobank in the early hours of a Sunday morning.

"The warehouse was filled with everything ranging from High Street goods to vintage cars. I remember picking my wife up from work at Cole's, driving past it and saying 'that'll be where I'm going tonight'."

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"It was particularly challenging because the incident happened in the middle of summer when crews were busy with grass fires and other small incidents.

"I was a firefighter at Oaks Lane at the time. The fire was cooking related from what I recall the husband had been out on a drinking session the night before, returned home and cooked chips in a chip pan.

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He said: "I was at the headquarters on a Sunday morning when there was an alert about a major incident.

He said: "I'd never experienced anything like it. It's hard to comprehend that there were Sea King helicopters rescuing people from rooftops in Sheffield.

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previously worked at Cole Brothers department store, where he met his wife of 26 years, Marie.

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after three decades. Meanwhile, his eldest son is taking over the family tradition of public service as an Army engineer. Richard Marsden reports.

He joined the service in 1982, having Nike Crew Hoodie

"The bakery was in operation when the fire broke out, being a business that worked 24 hours, and the most positive thing was that nobody was injured either among the Fletcher's workforce or the fire service."

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Neil Hessell has pretty much seen it all during three decades helping to keep South Yorkshire safe.

"As I drove along Penistone Road towards the scene, I could see from Shalesmoor that it was a very Nike Black Jackets established fire.

In the early 1990s, Neil was promoted to a management role, starting off working around fire stations before being moved into headquarters in Sheffield.

Neil, who has three children Carl, 24, Ryan, 22, and Leanna, 19 leaves the service as it faces a tough few years due to Government cuts.

"I was involved in the logistical side during the early stages Nike Red Pullover

He said: "It was at the National Freight depot, on Brightside Lane, which is today the Royal Mail site. The fire happened before Christmas in 1984 and burned for several days. The smoke could be seen for miles and debris fell from the plume into people's gardens.

But his role remained demanding. In July 2006, he was called upon to command crews fighting the huge blaze which engulfed Fletcher's Bakery at Wadsley Bridge.

A Sheffield family's life of public service

The blaze which was fought by several hundred firefighters and the cost of the damage put at 20 million. Smaller incidents also proved 'positive and rewarding'.

A year later, in the summer of 2007, Neil recalled how he was 'involved for many days working extremely long hours' to cope with the devastating floods.

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He recalled: "Although I have been directly or indirectly involved in a number of rescues, the very first one is always the one that usually stays in my mind.

Having just retired as Assistant Chief Fire Officer, he has come to the end of a career which has involved scores of house fires and road accidents, plus major incidents including the 2007 floods and Fletcher's Bakery fire at Wadsley Bridge, an incident he commanded.

Neil's first major incident came just a couple of years into his career and was said at the time to have been the biggest blaze in Sheffield since the Blitz in World War Two.

but by days two and three, I was over in the Doncaster area where many homes had been flooded.

"I've enjoyed my career serving the people of South Yorkshire in very interesting, challenging, sometimes sad and tragic but also rewarding circumstances," the 50 year old said.

"He lost a lot of his house contents but it could have been so much worse. Although this happened many years ago its a stark reminder that drinking and cooking don't go hand in hand. This was also pre smoke alarm days as well as the cooking message we must all make sure we fit and maintain a smoke alarm and have a fire evacuation plan."

Neil, who lives in Crosspool, said: "I was trained at Eastwood in Rotherham and my first station was at Oaks Lane, Kimberworth Park. Over the next 10 years, I served at several stations all over South Yorkshire."

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