Stanhope man hailed a hero after rescuing eldery man from fire

UPDATE 1.30PM: Ken Harrison, who bought the historic building seven years ago, said he was devastated. 

"I've spent years making this a tourist attraction," he said. 

Mr Harrison said he turned the building into a mini village with a fairy tale theme, naming the property Shaque-a-taque. 

"The building had a fairy tale theme and everything inside was made from recycled materials," he said.

"There was a sofa made out of an old verandah.

"We will rebuild."

Mr Harrison, who lived in the residence at the back of the property, said he heard the crackling of the fire about midnight.

"I opened the cathedral doors to get into the building and an inferno roared so I ran."

UPDATE: Braeden Stokes celebrated his 21st birthday on Monday by rescuing a 70-year-old man from a fire that ripped through a neighbouring property. 

"I was at my house with some friends," he said. 

"We noticed flames coming from the property so we ran down there.

"Someone had already called the CFA.

"The guy who lived in the property that was on fire had already escaped.

"But someone said there was smoke going into a neighbour's house where a 70-year-old man lived who needed an oxygen tank to breathe.

"CFA were flat out fighting the fire and weren't aware there was a elderly man in the neighbouring house. 

"So another guy and I went into the house.

"The elderly man was just sitting on a chair with his oxygen tank next to him"

"He (the 70-year-old man) didn't want to leave his house.

"We spent a while convincing him he had to leave and calming him down.

"I got him up on his walker and helped him out.

"I gave him a portable oxygen tank and the guy I was with took the larger tank over to a nearby cafe.

"We hooked his machine back up once I got him out and over to the cafe.

"He was really scared.

"It took about 30 minutes to get him out."

EARLIER: 

A 21-YEAR-OLD Stanhope man has been hailed a hero after he rescued a 70-year-old man from his house as a blaze ripped though a neighbouring property on Birdwood Avenue.

Stanhope fire brigade captain Peter Dent said the 21-year-old man was first to the scene of the fire, which began about 12.10am on Monday. 

"The 70-year-old man was quite fragile and would not have been able to evacuate his house if he didn't have help," he said. 

Smoke blanketed the 70-year-old man's house as fire destroyed the next-door property. 

Mr Dent said it took 30 fire fighters and eight fire trucks four hours to get the blaze under control.

"The property housed three businesses and had a residence at the back," he said. 

"We were lucky to save the rest of the street," he said.  

"The property has been totally destroyed."

A male who was in the residence when the blaze began was lucky to escape. 

Mr Dent said three people, including the 21-year-old and the 70-year-old, were taken to hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation.

"A 55 year-old male fire fighter collapsed because the fire was so intense," he said. 

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