Hero fireman saves man in hospital rooftop drama

A FIREFIGHTER who saved the life of a man on the rooftop of a hospital in East London this-morning is being recommended for a bravery commendation. Police were unable to coax the man down

By Mike Brooke

A FIREFIGHTER who saved the life of a man on the rooftop of a hospital in East London early this-morning is being put forward for a bravery commendation.

Emergency crews arrived at Mile End Hospital at 1.40am to find a man threatening to jump who police were unable to coax down.

But firefighter Peter Burley risked his own safety when he climbed a ladder onto the roof and managed to calm the man down.


“He wouldn’t talk with police because he feared they would arrest him,” Peter told the East London Advertiser.

“He asked for a cigarette and I took a pack up the ladder and lit one for him. It calmed him down.

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“I got him down once he was assured he wouldn’t be arrested and he was reunited with his wife who was glad to see him on safely on the ground.”


It was the second time the man had climbed onto the roof after being spotted several hours earlier. It is not believed he was a patient at the hospital.

Firefighter Burley, a 54-year-old grandfather from Essex, is being recommended for a commendation by his watch manager at Bethnal Green, Richard Welch, who said: “What Peter did was over and above his duties.

“If the man had jumped, he would have been killed. Peter saved his life at his own risk, which was quite a courageous act.”

The hero firefighter who retires next month after 30 years has previously won a commendation in 1981 after saving a family from a fire in Essex.

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