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Commendation awarded after brave woman saves 38 horses

August 20 2018
L-R back row: Watch Manager Ruth Barton and firefighter Michelle Dudman. Front row L-R: Firefighters Rich Julian and James Stevenson, Farmer John Hall, Yasmine Saunders, CFO Becci Bryant, Farmer Pauline Hall, Firefighter Tom Bowring and Crew Manager Chris Foxley.

L-R back row: Watch Manager Ruth Barton and firefighter Michelle Dudman. Front row L-R: Firefighters Rich Julian and James Stevenson, Farmer John Hall, Yasmine Saunders, CFO Becci Bryant, Farmer Pauline Hall, Firefighter Tom Bowring and Crew Manager Chris Foxley.

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service has recognised a woman for her bravery at a serious incident.

This incident could have so easily resulted in the death of many horses but thanks to Yasmine they were saved.

Chief Fire Officer Becci Bryant

Yasmine Saunders, 22, from Lincolnshire, was awarded a commendation during a ceremony at Tutbury Fire Station on Tuesday, August 14.

At around 1.30am on Sunday, May 20, a large fire broke out in the caravan storage area of a farm in Anslow near Burton-on-Trent. The fire involved a number of caravans and had spread to a barn and several stables. Initially two appliances from Burton attended, followed by further pumps from Tutbury and Barton-under-Needwood and the water carrier from Cheadle. Due to the size of the fire further appliances from Abbots Bromley, Lichfield and Swadlincote (Derbyshire) attended.

On the night of the incident Yasmine, a rider who works at the stables, was sleeping in a nearby caravan (not in the caravan storage area of the farm) when she was awoken by the fire.

Above: One of the fire damaged barns at the farm.

She quickly ran to the stables and upon seeing that the fire had spread to a barn she opened the main barn door and the individual stable doors to release the 12 horses into the adjoining field. Yasmine returned back to the barn to rescue two further horses, large stallions (males) that were extremely agitated and led them to safety. Within minutes she had saved 14 horses from danger. Following this brave feat she went into a second barn close by that was also involved in the fire and housed a further 24 horses that were in large pens. This area was starting to ignite so she quickly opened the gates allowing the horses to escape to the field.

Talking about her actions Yasmine said: “Looking back it was a very dangerous situation but I did what came naturally. I knew that the horses would have been seriously hurt or died if they hadn't been released soon. It's very lucky that they all got out safely and that the firefighters acted so quickly.” 

Chief Fire Officer Becci Bryant said: “This incident could have so easily resulted in the death of many horses but thanks to Yasmine they were saved.

“While we would never recommend entering a building that is on fire we must recognise Yasmine’s quick thinking and brave actions, which undoubtedly saved these horses and helped the firefighters during the incident.”