Boy Uses Rugby Skills to Save Family from Fire

By David Johnson

(From March 17, 2009)


Fourteen-year-old Conor McGrath caught a boy of his age and a girl of six after their mother lowered them and dropped them 10ft into his arms from an upstairs bedroom window after their home was hit by a gas explosion.

Conor, a rugby player for Lancashire and also the British under-16 wrestling champion, said: "I am a rugby player so I've got quite good hands... I knew that I just had to catch them. I am a strong lad for my age and the rugby definitely helped."

The accident happened after Conor had returned home from a jog in Great Lever, Bolton, with his dad on Monday morning. Both ran across the road to the semi-detached house and saw the woman screaming for help as smoke engulfed the bedroom.

"I just sprinted around and heard her screaming," he added. "I was shouting up at her, asking if she had a mattress so they could jump. They dangled the boy down first and I caught him, then I caught the girl. I could see the flames and I did not want to go into the house. All the windows had been blown out and it was a good job they had or else they would have been trapped upstairs. My heart was racing and there was a lot of adrenalin. I could see the fear in their eyes but there was nothing else to do other than help."

Conor's head teacher at St James's Church of England School and Sports College in Farnworth, Bob Atkinson, said: "He is a credit to himself, his family and to the school. "It was a very brave thing to do. He is a model to the younger pupils."



Return to the Rugby Readers Review