Newsboy Chris Turner was hailed a hero for saving the lives of a sleeping elderly Portsmouth couple in their gas-filled house.
Copnor firefighters said the 14-year-old newspaper delivery boy almost certainly saved Robert and Vera Sivewright from being overcome by fumes.
Sub-officer Peter Scott said there was also a real risk of an explosion at the couple’s Mayfield Road home if they had turned on a light.
Mayfield School pupil Chris, of Kensington Road, North End, was delivering papers when he smelt gas through the pensioners’ letter box.
After completing his round, he returned to the house, noticed the smell was far stronger, and cycled back to The News Shop in Copnor Road, to raise the alarm.
Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service were called and police, an ambulance and gas officials also attended.
Mr Sivewright, 83, and his 76-year-old wife were upstairs asleep unaware they could have been seconds from disaster.
Mr and Mrs Sivewright were treated for shock, but expressed their thanks to their saviour.
Mrs Sivewright said: ‘He deserves a medal and all the praise going.’