JW3 security guards hailed as heroes for tackling bus blaze

Security staff grabbed an extinguisher from inside JW3 to fight the blaze


Two security guards working at JW3 have been hailed as heroes for rescuing passengers from a burning bus.

The guards, named by JW3 as Emilio Garcia and  Marius Asteika, acted when the engine of the double-decker caught alight outside the Jewish cultural centre on Finchley Road, in north-west London on Sunday night.

Video footage taken byTwitter user @HoodsAlex shows Emilio attempting to put out the flames with a fire extinguisher. 

Onlookers called for him to get back as thick black smoke engulfed the bus.

Witnesses described hearing a “loud bang” as flames erupted from the back of the number 113 bus.

Luckily the driver and passengers managed to escape without injury, helped from the burning vehicle by Marius.

Raymond Simonson, chief executive of JW3, said he was incredibly proud of the guards for their act of bravery.

“Their only thoughts were for the safety of the passengers caught on the burning bus, which is typical of all the SQR security staff at JW3,” he said.

“Without any regard to their own safety, Emilio tackled the fire with one of our handheld fire extinguishers and Marius helped get 30 or so people off the bus and safely onto the pavement.”

Mr Simonson added: “I wasn’t at all surprised by Emilio and Marius’ actions, as we constantly receive praise and positive feedback from members of the public for our wonderful security team, who keep 4,500 visitors to our centre safe week in, week out, whatever the weather, and with smiles on their faces.

“What’s also impressive is how humble they’ve been. We only know the full extent of their bravery after being told by eye witnesses, and both of these utter mensches have since played it down. They couldn’t understand what the fuss was about, and both said they were just doing their jobs. ”

Mr Asteika said: "We’re not heroes. We were just in the right place at the right time.”

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