NEIGHBOURS made a dramatic rescue to save the lives of an 11-year-old and his multiple sclerosis-suffering mother in a house fire in East Dunbartonshire which claimed the life of 45-year old Colin Davies.

Neighbours including Graham Black, 35, his mother Audrey and another local managed to persuade the dead man's 11-year-old son Joel Davies to jump 40 feet into their arms from an upstairs bedroom window of the semi-detached Milngavie home as the fire was at its height.

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Then they managed to coax the man's 42-year-old wife Catherine to jump down towards them and onto a mattress. It is understood she was taken to hospital with a broke leg. The family have told of their grief over the death of Mr Davies.

And friends and neighbours of the Davies family have begun two fund-raising campaigns to help the family.


The man who died was identified locally after a fire broke out in the home in Catter Gardens, in Milngavie, in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Three fire crews rushed to the scene after reports of a blaze at the residential property.

But meanwhile neighbours were coming to the rescue to try and get people out the burning house.

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The rescue began after Ms Black spotted the blaze after becoming concerned that her son's dog had been barking.

HeraldScotland: Catherine Davies Source:FacebookCatherine Davies Source:Facebook

"It was a neighbour called Darren and my son Graham that saved Joel and Catherine," she recalled.

"I was there at the beginning and I ran in to get my son to help. Darren and Graham caught Joel as he jumped.

"Then they got a mattress and Graham and Darren managed to persuade Catherine to jump out and they cushioned her fall as she was approaching the mattress. They got her out, that was it. And she is alive.

"The only reason I knew anything about it was I was watching my son's dog and he was really unsettled and I came down to see what was wrong with him and opened the door and saw the fire.

"Within seconds of Catherine jumping out, I said to this lady that we needed to get away or the kitchen window was going to blow. And we no sooner got away and it did."

HeraldScotland: Catherine and Colin Source: FacebookCatherine and Colin Source: Facebook

She said she and her husband and son were "traumatised" by what had happened.

Catherine and Joel were rushed to hospital to undergo treatment for non life threatening injuries. Colin, who is believed to have been found by firefighters in the house hallway passed away shortly after arrival.

Brother Alan Davies from Hereford expressed his sorrow, saying: "Please say a prayer for my brother Colin. He passed away in a house fire . I will miss him a lot such a nice guy. My heart goes out to his son and wife."

Another relative Susan Park simply said on her social media page: "Devastated." Two online crowd funding pages have been set up up by concerned neighbours to raise money for the family.

One set up on by 'Ali and the Mains Estate Community' has so far raised over £1,400 towards a £2000 goal.


They said: "We are looking to raise money for Catherine and Joel from Mains Estate, Milngavie, who have lost everything in a tragic house fire, inlcuding a beloved husband and father who will be sadly missed by us all.

The money raised will help go towards clothing and necessities needed, this will help rebuild from what has been damaged and lost.

Catherine is a beautiful soul and would do anything for anyone, she's always putting others first. Please help, your contributions will be greatly appreciated."

The group thanked donors for the money raised so far saying it was "incredibly thoughtful and generous".

"It's really lovely that our community has come together lie this, already a lot of support has been give by neighbours and friends close by.

"Please keep sharing so we can reach out target and even beyond tha. All of this will go towards helping Catherine and Joel rebuild their life (lives)."

Another appeal on aimed to raise £1,500 for the family to start on the road to rebuild their lives. Over £500 has already been raised.

The Justgiving page says: “Joel is only 11 and is due to start high school on Wednesday. His mother Catherine has MS and life is going to be so much more difficult for them now.

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"The dream is for them to rebuild their family home but if we can help them buy clothes and basic living necessities that’s a small first step.

"Keep them in your thoughts and prayers."

The fire broke out at 2am on Sunday. Concerned neighbours raised the alarm and fire crews attended quickly to put out the blaze.


The cause of the fire is yet to be determined.

A spokesman for the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service said last night: "Firefighters reached the scene within five minutes and were confronted with an already well-developed fire.

"With reports people were inside the property teams in breathing apparatus were sent in to conduct a search and rescue operation.

"Specialist officers from the Fire Investigation Unit attended the scene and will work with police to establish the circumstances surrounding the incident."