THE heroic actions of two people who caught a child lowered from the window of a burning flat have been praised.

Firefighters were called to a fire in a flat above the One Stop shop, in St Johns Road, Clacton, last night.

When crews arrived at around 11pm they found one of the occupants was still inside.

Firefighters pitched a ladder to the first floor window and rescued them.

But a child, reportedly a four-year-old girl, had already been lowered out of the window and caught by two people who were nearby and saw the fire.

Harwich and Manningtree Standard:

They also tried to tackle to the fire with a fire extinguisher at the front door before the fire crews arrived.

The two young heroes, Jamie Glander and Justin Kelly, were finishing a shift at the nearby One Stop when they noticed the flames.

A neighbour heard a bang and went to the door, where she witnessed Jamie tackling the flames with a fire extinguisher.

"They managed to get the little girl out," she said.

"But he was overcome by the smoke, he was inside the entrance but the flames were too much.

"If it wasn't for them, I don't think the little girl would've got out alive."

Watch manager Ruben Frost, from Clacton Fire Station, said: "The actions of these members of the public were truly selfless.

"When they saw the fire they tried to tackle it with a fire extinguisher.

"Once it was clear that the occupants couldn't get out of the flat they also helped to rescue the child by catching them after being lowered out of the window.

Harwich and Manningtree Standard:

"These two people were incredibly brave and selflessly did everything they could to help the occupants of the flat."

Firefighters extinguished the flames, which was contained to the room where it started, but said the rest of the property has suffered smoke damage.

The cause of the fire was found to be accidental.