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National bravery award for Lincolnshire care worker Frankie Hannah

By East Lindsey Target  |  Posted: December 17, 2012

BRAVERY HONOURED: Former Horncastle student Frankie Hannah, pictured with actor Martin Kemp, when she received a national award. She is now also going to receive another award.

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A CARE worker who fought a life and death battle in a bid to save a wartime RAF hero from a blaze has been awarded a top national bravery honour.

Frankie Hannah, who grew up in Horncastle and later moved to Winthorpe near Skegness, is to be presented with a Royal Humane Society testimonial on parchment for braving a fire in a bid to save the couple she was caring for.

The 21-year-old former Banovallum pupil was the carer for Former RAF squadron leader, Anthony Weller.

He died from burns he received in the fire at his home at Kendal Drive, Beeston, in the early hours of August 16 this year.

Her bravery that night saw her save Mr Weller's wife, Joyce, from the fire.

The nomination for the award came from her employer Athena Care Ltd.

Miss Hannah, who previously worked in the Horncastle area as a carer with Walnut Care, said she was pleased to have been recognised for her actions but missed Mr Weller.

"That night is all a bit of a blur to me now," she said.

"I just did what any good person would do. I was woken up by Joyce shouting at about 2am and rushed in to see what was wrong.

"Joyce was standing near the fire which had broken out in the bathroom because of an extractor fan. Tony was still asleep in his bed and my intention was to go back in and get him, but once I had opened the door and let the cold air in it was almost impossible because of the smoke."

Her bravery was also recognised recently with a Great British Care Award.

Miss Hannah, who now lives with Joyce, 88, and her daughter Melissa, 50, in South Yorkshire, said she acted automatically but felt guilty that she couldn't save Tony.

She said: "I had grown very close to Tony over the months. He was a lovely man. I wish I could have saved him too.

"I'm grateful for my awards, this one and the Great British Care award for putting people first, but I would swap them any day to have Tony back."

Dick Wilkinson, secretary of the Royal Humane Society said: "Anyone who goes into a blazing building risks their life. Sadly Misss Hannah did not manage to save Mr Weller as well as his wife from the blaze but she richly deserves the award she is to receive."

No date has yet been fixed for the presentation of the award but it is expected to take place in the near future.

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