PROUD son Gregory Piechowicz has hailed his dad Andrzej a hero after he pulled a neighbour from a flat fire.

The 26-year-old praised his bakery worker father after the 54-year-old went into the basement flat in West Street, Banbury, that was filling with deadly smoke from a chip fire.

Firefighters said the outcome could have been “far worse” for the victim, a 60-year-old, after the blaze at 8pm on Sunday. No-one needed hospital treatment.Translating for his Polish father, Mr Piechowicz, pictured, said: “My dad went for a cigarette and heard someone screaming.

“He ran outside to see what was going on. People were screaming ‘we are going to burn, we are going to burn’.”

With another neighbour, Mr Piechowicz set about getting the man to safety.

The warehouse worker said his father grabbed the man by the collar and dragged him out. He added: “He ran inside and saw a guy in there doing nothing so he took him outside. The man was not aware of what was happening around him.”

Then his father, who lives next door with wife Danuta, ran inside to put out the blaze, which had spread to a curtain, with a fire extinguisher.

Fire crews and paramedics arrived and the occupant and his father were treated for smoke inhalation with the other neighbour.

He said: “I am very proud of Dad. He is kind of a hero. He probably saved his life.”

Banbury Fire Station’s Danny Hicks said: “This incident could have had a far worse outcome for the resident of the flat.

“Thanks to the actions of two of his neighbours, who noticed the smoke and removed him from the property, he was able to be treated at the scene for smoke inhalation only.”