Hero school caretaker rescues children from burning car

Caretaker at Rastrick Independent School, Mark Coates
Caretaker at Rastrick Independent School, Mark Coates

A hero caretaker at a Calderdale school displayed courage and selflessness when he and another member of staff helped a family out of danger.

Mark Coates, 55, jumped into action after noticing thick smoke in the school grounds and hearing distress calls of children from inside a car at the school.

Catering Manager, Annette McCauley

Catering Manager, Annette McCauley

Due to a mechanical malfunction the car was revving up in full throttle and was producing a lot of smoke and noise as it was burning up engine oil and fuel.

Despite the thick cloud of smoke surrounding the car and knowing that he was putting himself in a dangerous situation, Mr Coates helped the children out of the car and took them away to a more secure location.

While Mr Coats was trying to help the father push the car out of the road, the school’s Catering Manager Annette McCauley, 56, noticed the smoke from the kitchen and immediately went outside to the children who were in a lot of distress.

She consoled them and helped to calm them down until Mr Coates had helped to bring the situation under control.

Headmistress of the school, Susan Vaughey, said: “We have a wonderful, dedicated and caring team at Rastrick. This intangible ethos of love and selflessness permeates throughout our school and nursery every single day.

“We are so very proud of Mr Coates and Mrs McCauley as I am of the 50 plus staff that work in the school. This dedication often goes unrecognised as we live out our daily lives.

“Both the member of staff did not mention about their act of bravery to anyone in the school and if not for a parent’s email who just happened to be dropping her child at the nursery, we would have not even known.

“Mr Coates helped without the thought for his own safety and then calmly carried on with his daily work.

“A true hero. Rastrick Independent School is so lucky to have him.”