Hero Chichester fireman drives blazing lorry away from burning tip

Kim Taylor asked: "Let me have a go, what's the worse that could happen?"
Kim Taylor asked: "Let me have a go, what's the worse that could happen?"

A HEROIC firefighter from Chichester has told how he drove a blazing lorry out of a building to prevent an explosion at a recycling centre.

Fourteen West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service crews were called to the burning site in Metcalf Way, County Oak, Crawley on Friday, May 29.

Firefighters spent hours tackling the blaze before watch commander Kim Taylor, 58, drove the articulated lorry through flames and out into the open air.

Mr Taylor, who is based at East Grinstead Fire Station but lives in Chichester, is an ex-lorry driver.

He said he told his commanders: “Let me have a go, what’s the worse that could happen?

“If I can get it out then it’s a game-changer, then you can squirt water properly in the open air and it’s not going to endanger the building.”

Mr Taylor said there was a risk the truck’s fuel could explode but added: “As far as I was concerned the fire was confined to the back and I had time to drive it out.”

Viridor’s Crawley Waste Transfer Station has now reopened. A spokesman said it was investigating the cause of the fire.