Five-year-old fire heroine Tiannah gets her reward

WELL DONE! Left to right are Lacey Plumbley, red watch crew manager at Havant fire station, Tim Burgess, red watch manager, Tara Chappell 22 and children Tiannah, five, Lillymai, two and Carly Chappell, three. Picture: Paul Jacobs (122825-1)
WELL DONE! Left to right are Lacey Plumbley, red watch crew manager at Havant fire station, Tim Burgess, red watch manager, Tara Chappell 22 and children Tiannah, five, Lillymai, two and Carly Chappell, three. Picture: Paul Jacobs (122825-1)

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QUICK-THINKING Tiannah Chappell has been commended by firefighters for her actions after saving her family from a fire.

The five-year-old was beaming with happiness as she was given a special certificate by firefighters at Havant fire station.

She and her family were given a tour of the fire station and Tiannah even got to sit in a fire engine.

Hampshire Fire and Rescue decided to give Tiannah a merit award for her quick thinking when she awoke to a fire alarm in her home in Holybourne Road, Leigh Park.

As previously reported in The News, the youngster has a serious disability called Erb’s Palsy, which means she has no movement in her left arm.

But she sprung into action when she heard the alarm – using knowledge she had learned when firefighters visited Warren Park Primary School.

She managed to open a locked stairgate and wake her mum Tara Chappell, who was struggling to rise because of medication she takes for Crohn’s disease.

Tiannah then led her two-year-old sister Lilly-Mai – who was staying in her mum’s room – into her bedroom where her other sister Carly, three, was sleeping.

Keeping calm, she gave the pair teddy bears and continued to alert her mum to the danger.

Tara was able to get all her children out safely.

The fire had engulfed a kitchen worktop after a tea towel next to a kettle caught fire.

Tim Burgess, watch manager at Havant, said: ‘This young girl has probably done something way, way above her age.

‘She’s learned something at school which she has been told by the fire service and she’s gone out of her way and woken up her family and said there’s a fire downstairs.

‘She’s basically saved their lives in a spectacular way at just five years old.

‘It’s deserved. Hopefully it will put that thing in other people’s minds that with a little bit of education we might be able to save more lives.’

Tara, 22, said: ‘She’s my little hero.

‘She has done me so proud especially with her disability – it’s just amazing.

‘She’s really enjoyed herself today.’

Her grandmother Sarah Fry, 45, of Tyrrel Lawn, Warren Park, said: ‘Please don’t just say to children matches will hurt you and burn you.

‘Teach them what a fire alarm sounds like and what you want them to do if there is a fire and practise it.

‘It just goes to show five-year-olds can keep adults safe.’