Swift thinking by a young shop worker prevented a potentially serious incident last week after fire was discovered in a Methil restaurant.
Kris Wishart alerted residents in neighbouring flats – including a mother with three young children – when the blaze began last Wednesday night at Crichton’s Kitchen in Wellesley Road.
Police said the fire was started on purpose and are appealing for information.
Kris, an assisant at the nearby Premier One Stop Shop, helped carry the sleeping children to safety and advised other neighbours to get out of the building – before tackling the fire himself – as the drama unfolded shortly after 11.00 p.m. last Wednesday.
He told the Mail he was having tea with his boss, shop manager Faz Latif, when he heard a noise.
He didn’t see anything at first but then noticed “black smoke” coming from the back door of Crichton’s premises.
Kris (20) knew there were children in the flat above and went to alert the family, while banging on other neighbours’ door, urging them to get out.
Worried the fire might spread quickly along the buildings, Kris, of Bowling Green Street, Methil, helped get the children – two boys aged two and nine, and a five-year-old girl – to a safe flat nearby, while 10 other residents made their escape from the building, while Faz contacted the fire service.
Kris then took a hose from the Premier shop and tackled the fire as the brigade was on its way.
“There was thick smoke, and some flames,” he said. “I didn’t know how bad it was at first. All I saw was smoke, but I didn’t know if there were big flames, or a wee fire with loads of smoke.”
Ex-Kirkland High pupil Kris said he “felt really good” about his actions, as the smoke could have been potentially deadly.
Faz added: “I’m really proud of him.”
Levenmouth’s community police inspector, Donald Jenks, said: “Thankfully, the fire was quickly extinguished and no one was injured.
“Our investigations with the Fire Service show this fire was deliberately set, so we would ask anyone who was in the area that saw anything suspicious to call us on 101.”
The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service confirmed two Methil appliances had attended a “small fire” near the kitchen area of the single-storey commercial premises, and the call was over by 11.50 p.m.