London Fire Brigade

Off duty firefighter saves man from ‘fireball’ car

06 June 2012

A trainee firefighter from the London Fire Brigade is to receive a bravery award after he saved a man’s life by pulling him from a burning car in Tottenham on Saturday ( 2nd June).

Nathan Julien, 25,  is a trainee firefighter on the red watch at Stoke Newington fire station in north London. On Saturday afternoon he was on his way to his younger brother’s birthday party when he drove past the scene of a head on collision involving three cars on Watermead Way in Tottenham. The two male drivers of two of the cars were still inside but fortunately the three people in the third car managed to escape.

Firefighter Julien said: “People told me not to intervene but as soon as I saw smoke coming from one of the cars I realised it was serious. I managed to pull the man out and with the help of a member of the public, dragged him up the road. As soon as we’d got him clear the car burst into flames and turned into a fireball.”

The fire brigade was called to the scene and the officer in charge of the incident said that had Nathan not pulled the man out he probably wouldn’t have survived. He was suffering from chest injuries and was taken to hospital by ambulance.

Once he’d pulled the first man out and despite the intense flames, Nathan went back and pulled the driver out of the other car. Despite London Ambulance Service crews and doctors from London’s Air Ambulance giving him treatment at the scene, the man sadly died on the way to hospital.

It is not thought the three people in the other car were badly injured.

Nathan went on to say: “I just did what I’ve been trained to do. My main focus was getting those men out of the burning cars. I was really sad to hear one of the men didn’t survive, my thoughts are with his family and friends.”

London Fire Commissioner, Ron Dobson, said: “Firefighter Julien’s actions were nothing short of heroic. He put his own safety aside in order to pull these two men from the burning cars.

“Nathan is one of our new trainees and has only been with the Brigade for just over a year. He is the sort of individual who makes the London Fire Brigade the fantastic organisation that it is and he is a credit to the Brigade.”

Two fire engines from Tottenham and one fire engine from Bethnal Green fire station were called to the incident and around 15 firefighters were present. The Brigade was called at 1325 and fire crews left the scene at 1420.


Firefighter Nathan Julien will be presented with a bravery award by the London Fire Brigade in the near future – the date has not yet been confirmed.

Firefighter Julien started his firefighter training with the Brigade in March 2011 and joined the red watch at Stoke Newington in July 2011.