Leslie Grantham hailed a hero as he helps dozens escape a burning flat
13 August 2009
Former EastEnder Leslie Grantham was hailed a real-life hero today when he helped dozens of people escape from blazing apartments.
The actor, better known as his Walford alter ego Dirty Den, spotted the flames and realised people were in danger of becoming trapped.
Mr Grantham, 62, ran from door to door to raise the alarm and urge people to get to safety.
Fire chiefs yesterday confirmed the actor was the last person to get out of the luxury block - and they said he acted 'heroically'.
Mr Grantham was staying with a friend at the apartments on Swansea Marina, South Wales, when the fire broke out. One resident said: 'Leslie was great, he banged on all the doors telling people to get out.
'By the time he escaped, there was loads of smoke and we could hear the fire engines coming. 'I know he is famous for playing the bad guy but in this case he was a real hero.'
Mr Grantham managed to escape the building and needed treatment for cuts and smoke inhalation. He refused to go to hospital and was dealt with by paramedics at the scene.
Fireman Gary Williams, of the Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, said: 'Before we arrived there was still one person trapped inside.
'The gentleman managed to escape and was standing outside when we got to the scene. 'I can confirm that this gentleman was Mr Grantham.
'I would like to compliment him on his actions, in which he went around the other flats telling people about the fire.
'He acted heroically.'
The former soap star was staying with a friend in Swansea where he is starring in the whodunnit Write Me A Murder at the city's Grand Theatre.
Mr Grantham was too shaken up to speak about the incident but a spokesman for the theatre said: 'The show must go on.'
Firefighters are continuing to investigate the blaze believed to have been caused by a faulty washing machine.