Brave Ben is his mum’s ‘little hero’ after fire drama at their Portsmouth home

HE'S A STAR From left, Joshua, Annabelle, Sarah and Ben Barker in their fire-damaged kitchen.  Picture: Allan Hutchings (121179-754)
HE'S A STAR From left, Joshua, Annabelle, Sarah and Ben Barker in their fire-damaged kitchen. Picture: Allan Hutchings (121179-754)
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HE’S my little hero – these are the words of mum Sarah Barker after her brave 11-year-old son Ben helped his family escape their burning house.

The Portchester Community School pupil was woken up by a fire alarm triggered after their dishwasher caught fire in the kitchen.

The fire took hold at 4am on March 28, as previously reported in The News.

He rushed into his mum’s room and made her aware of the smoke coming from downstairs.

Ben’s quick thinking enabled his mum to wake up children Joshua, 13, and Annabelle, 10 and evacuate the house in Beverston Road, Paulsgrove.

She dialled 999 and sought refuge with next door neighbours Terrance and Pamela Clark.

Ben, who has aspirations to be a scientist, said: ‘I woke up a few minutes after the alarm went off.

‘I didn’t smell it but I saw a few wisps of smoke. I said to mum the fire alarm was going off.

‘I don’t know if I was brave but at least we were safe.’

Mrs Barker, who was treated for chest pains after the fire, said: ‘I heard the alarm going off but thought it was my alarm clock.

‘Ben ran downstairs and said the dishwasher was on fire, so we got out and phoned 999.

‘The fire brigade were there within 10 minutes and were brilliant.

‘When I realised what was going on, all I could think of was getting the kids out.

‘I was shaking from head to foot. They said the fire didn’t spread as we had a fire alarm fitted and I shut all the doors in the house before I went to bed.

‘Ben came in straight away. He’s definitely my little hero for doing that. I never want to experience anything like that again.’

Ben’s actions were praised by watch manager Kevin Lloyd-Spencer, of Cosham Fire Station.

Their home was left severely smoke-damaged by the blaze and are staying at the Etap hotel in Fratton.