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Article: Mark^s got the power

Mark^s got the power

A DARTS player helped rescue his teenage nephew and niece from a fire before beating the world’s greatest darts professional – all in one evening.

Mark Holden was one of four men who rescued 14-year-old Stacey Doyle and her brother, 18-year-old Michael Doyle, from a terrifying inferno at their Dalton Road home.

But not content with his evening’s work, Mark, who also lives on the Rhodes street, headed to the VASA Club in Blackley to beat Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor – a 13 times world champion – just a few hours after his heroic deed.

"It could have been really bad," said Mark. "Thinking about it after, Stacey was hanging from the window saying she couldn^t breath, it was a few minutes after we got her down that the fire brigade arrived.

"But it’s something you do without thinking at the time."

Fire broke out in one of the bedrooms at the house shortly before 6pm last Wednesday evening (4 June).

It is believed it was started accidentally when petrol from a garden strimmer ignited.

Three fire engines from Blackley and Broughton attended the scene, where Mark, his two sons Andrew and Paul, along with another neighbour, Patrick Bamford, managed to rescue Stacey and Michael from the house by hitching a ladder on top of an old fridge freezer in the garden to reach the first floor window.

"My son Andrew ran towards the house and tried to get in but couldn’t," said Mark. "So he went round the back and saw Stacey stuck in the back bedroom hanging out of the window.

"We managed to put a ladder on top of a fridge freezer that was in the back of the garden, which we held while Andrew went on the ladder to reach Stacey."

The 14-year-old suffered smoke inhalation from the incident, while her brother Michael was kept in hospital overnight with burns to his face and hands.

A few hours after taking part in the heroic deed, Mark, a professional darts player for five years, headed to the social club and beat Taylor, the man many consider the best player ever to step up to an oche, 2-1 in an exhibition tournament.

"I didn’t mention it to Phil Taylor," added Mark. "I just played my normal game and out of the 12 lads that played him - I was the only one to beat him."

Stacey and Michael’s grandmother, Beryl Williams, paid tribute to the heroic quartet.

"We’re just so relieved," she said. "We’re so gratetful to those neighbours who helped rescue them. But as well as them the whole street has pulled together to help out."

Story by: Middleton Guardian


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