Town centre shop owner is ‘life saver’

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A QUICK-thinking shop owner has been hailed as a life saver by a fire chief after a man was rescued from a blaze above his town centre shop.

Paul O-Brien, who owns Candy Love, in Montague Street, raised the alarm when the building’s fire alarms went off at midday on Friday.

He initially thought it could be a false alarm, but quickly realised all was not right.

Mr O’Brien said: “I managed to get one couple out of the flat below and saw thick black smoke coming from the side of the building. It looked quite bad.

“I had turned the alarm off and it started again, which indicated there was a fire. When the fire brigade arrived, they pulled a man out.”

Following a police investigation, a 44-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of arson.

He has been bailed, pending further inquries.

West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service deputy district commander Roy Barraclough said events “could have been very different” if it were not for the quick action of Mr O’Brien.

He said: “I said to him at the time that he saved the guy’s life.

“He said he didn’t do anything out of the ordinary, but calling in when he did made all the difference, and it could have been very different if he didn’t.”

For the full story, see the Worthing Herald, out Thursday, June 20.