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Hero in fire drama commended

PUBLISHED: 16:00 15 June 2010 | UPDATED: 17:19 01 July 2010

Magdalen Street fire hero Dominic Gale.

Magdalen Street fire hero Dominic Gale.

David Bale

A hero dog walker has been commended for his efforts in saving a young woman from near certain death in a Norwich bedsit

A hero dog walker has been commended for his efforts in saving a young woman from near certain death in a Norwich bedsit.

Dominic Gale, 36, rang emergency services after spotting flames coming from the window at a block of flats in Magdalen Street, Norwich.

As reported, rogue landlord Michael Billings, who owned the flats, is serving a 30 month prison sentence after admitting 14 counts of breaching fire and health and safety laws.

Tenant 20-year-old Layla Skalli, who suffered 80pc burns in the blaze in April last year, has made a miraculous recovery since undergoing revolutionary surgery having initially being given a 1pc chance of survival.

Mr Gale was commended for his actions by Judge Paul Downes at the trial at Norwich Crown Court and yesterday received a cerificate of commendation and a cheque for £400 at the Norfolk Club in Upper King Street, Norwich.

Reliving the events from that night, Mr Gale, from Norwich, said he was walking his dog and saw flames and smoke coming from a window above a shop, at about 1.30am.

He said: “I called the fire brigade and then a woman on the top floor started calling for help through the window.

“She said she was going to jump and threw her duvet out, but I told her not to jump.

“I could hear screaming from another woman in a downstairs flat. The fire brigade arrived and used ladders as battering rams to get into the building. The lady on the top floor was okay.”

Mr Gale, who is single and works for the mental health unit in Norwich, received the commendation from Charles Barratt, High Sheriff of Norfolk, who said he had saved the young woman from almost certain death.

“Many people on seeing the flames would have just walked on by,” Mr Barratt said.

Mr Gale's mother Val Chaplin Gale, from Norwich, said: “I'm so proud of him. He's so understated and very modest.”

Do you know a hero in Norwich? Ring reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or email david.bale2@archant.co.uk.

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