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Last Updated: Friday, 29 June 2007, 15:35 GMT 16:35 UK
Man rescues elderly flood victims
Mildred Spence
Mrs Spence was trapped in her home by rising flood waters
A man has described how he went to the rescue of six elderly women - including a 91-year-old - stranded in their homes by rising flood water in Wakefield.

Jason Reynolds, 28, went to the rescue after hearing shouts for help coming from flats opposite his home in Alverthorpe Road.

Among those he brought to safety was 91-year-old Mildred Spence, who had not left her home since November.

Her daughter, Joan Wadsworth, said her mother was "fortunate to be alive".

Mr Reynolds had returned home from a holiday in Spain with wife Sarah, 26, just hours before the flood.

He said: "I was trying to get sandbags together and then a lady shouted asking if I could help her sister in one of the flats.

Jason Reynolds
Mr Reynolds helped the 91-year-old to safety

"I climbed in through the window - I couldn't open the door because of all the water."

After helping the stranded woman and her dog back out through the window, Mr Reynolds then went back to help Mrs Spence, who was trapped in a neighbouring flat.

When he got into the house, she was standing up with the help of a walking frame.

He said: "She couldn't come to the window... as I let myself in all the water just flooded straight in, so I shut the door and helped her get her coat and get out.

"It was between ankle and knee height at that point."

Ambulance called

With help from another woman, Mr Reynolds helped Mrs Spence from her flooded home and took her to his home until an ambulance arrived.

He tried to return to collect Mrs Spence's purse for her, but by then smoke from her electric wheelchair had filled the house.

He then helped four other elderly residents to safety.

Joan Wadsworth returned to the flat on Friday to assess the damage.

She said: "I think actually my mother is very fortunate to be alive.

"She is only a small person. It could have been a different story because she hasn't got the strength to walk through water.

"I understand it was very deep and I really don't think she would have got out had she not received some help."


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