Security colleague Richard hailed a hero for putting out car fire at Birkenhead store

April 16, 2021

Asda security colleague Richard Langley sprang into action when a car burst into flames right outside our Stanley Road supermarket in Birkenhead while regular customer Christine Rimmer was in the driver's seat.

Forty-year-old Richard quickly grabbed a fire extinguisher and managed to put out the fire in the Citroen Picasso before the fire could spread to the store itself.

His actions have been praised by Christine, who says she can't thank him enough for what he did, and store manager Russell Frankland, who says the calm way he dealt with the fire was fantastic.

Richard said: "I was sat at the security podium at the front of the store when a lady ran in saying, 'my car's on fire'. I grabbed the extinguisher which was right next to me and ran to the car which was in the closest parking bay to the store. There was smoke and flames coming out of it."

He managed to get the bonnet open, with the help of another customer who had come to Christine's aid, before dousing the flames. The fire service arrived within minutes and made the car safe and it was towed away.

Dad-of-one Richard, who's worked at the store for four years, said: "It was just one of those things – it was pure instinct. Timing was of the essence as if the flames had gone to the car's fuel line it could have exploded and it was parked right next to the doors of the store, so I had to make sure it was fully out.

"The lady was panicking a bit so I just got her a drink of water and calmed her down and made sure she was alright."

Christine, who was driving her brother Mark's car, had just pulled into the bay and was waiting for her sister, Stacey, who had popped into the store.

She said "Smoke just started coming from under the bonnet and I got out and looked and then as I turned the engine off that's when the flames started."

"A customer was shouting to get the bonnet up, but as it was my brother's car I didn't know where the catch was. He told me to go into the store to get a fire extinguisher. I remember shouting 'my car's on fire; help me, help me!' and Richard came running over.

Christine, who says the cause of the fire is still unknown, said: "Once the flames were out and the fire brigade had arrived Richard was still saying, 'What can I do to help you?' I can't stress how grateful I am to him and the other customer. I was a wreck. I've been in a house fire before and I was in shock; I was shaking.

"It could have been a lot worse. I dread to think what would have happened if they weren't there. I can't thank them enough."

Store manager Russell, who nominated Richard for an Asda customer service award, said: "The whole team and local community are really proud of Richard and how he handled the situation.

"Richard calmly went out with a fire extinguisher and managed to put out the fire before the fire brigade got there. He was brilliant, absolutely fantastic, he really was.

"He just took control of the situation and also managed to calm the lady down as she was understandably petrified, bless her."

Share

RELATED STORIES