Heroic firefighters praised after rescuing young girl stuck in mud

PUBLISHED: 10:06 22 April 2016 | UPDATED: 10:06 22 April 2016

Firefighter Darren Ward with Abigail

Firefighter Darren Ward with Abigail

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A mum has praised firefighters for rescuing her daughter after she became stuck in mud in Welwyn Garden City.

Abigail at the fire station with Darren WardAbigail at the fire station with Darren Ward

Claire Burke, of Hall Grove, Welwyn Garden City, praised the fire service for pulling her 11-year-old daughter Abigail out of mud in The Commons nature reserve, off The Commons.

Abigail became stuck at around 11am on Tuesday, April 12, after running into the mud after her dog. She was uninjured but suffered from a sore ankle.

One fire engine, with firefighters from white watch at Welwyn Garden City Fire Station, arrived to help Abigail at 11.06am and had left the area by 11.36am.

Ms Burke said: “The firefighters were absolutely fantastic. They were so good with Abigail.

“Two guys had to walk to come and get to us. They dug her out with their hands and because her ankle was sore they carried her out to the fire engine.

“Abigail gave them a gift of wine gums and Roses.

Ms Burke also praised a woman who drove her, Abigail and their dog home after Abigail was pulled out.

She said: “Her name was Fiona. She drove us home and had the dog in her car. We were covered in mud but she didn’t mind. She was lovely.”

The next day, firefighters invited Abigail on a tour of the station and to look at the fire engine.

Ms Burke wanted to advise other people, particularly children, to be careful around muddy areas. She said: “I’m worried about kids going down there. If I wasn’t there with my mobile phone she wouldn’t have got out.

“There was a large green which I could see from where we were on The Commons. There were gaps to get through to nature reserve pathways.

“I did contact the council to consider fencing or putting signs up as kids play there. They said they would go and have a look.”

A council spokeswoman said: “We urge everyone to keep to the paths when they visit The Commons nature reserve, especially during periods of heavy rainfall.

“There are large areas of marshy wetland, and fencing these off is not feasible, however officers visited after the incident and are confident it doesn’t pose a risk beyond what would be expected from a low-lying nature reserve at this time of year.”


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