Scot helps newlyweds to safety as fire breaks out at hotel
Geo Semple has been hailed as a hero after rescuing trapped holidaymakers in Turkey.
A Scot has been hailed as a hero after coming to the rescue of trapped holidaymakers during a hotel fire in Turkey.
Geo Semple, from Castlemilk in Glasgow, has been credited with saving lives at the Garden of Sun hotel in Altinkum after running through corridors with a wet towel wrapped round his face.
The 35-year-old was woken in the early hours of last Wednesday morning with a distinct taste of smoke in his mouth before being faced with a wall of fumes as he opened his door.
As he was alerting other sleeping guests to the fire, he came to the rescue of a newlywed couple who were trapped in their room and panicking.
He then helped carry the woman, Erika Calvert, who had fainted due to smoke inhalation, to safety after her husband John injured his ankle in the chaos.
Mrs Calvert, from Southport in Merseyside, told STV News: "Geo saved our lives. He was a hero, Geo was a hero."
Mr Semple told how he woke up at 5.30am with the taste of smoke in his mouth, but said he didn't hear a fire alarm (something the hotel refutes).
Speaking to STV News, he recalled: "I opened my room door and it was completely black with smoke.
"The first thing I thought was that other people might be sleeping through it, so I ran down the hall banging as many doors as I could could and warning people to get out."
Mr Semple then went out onto his balcony to make as much noise as he could to warn other guests when he spotted the Calverts trapped in their room.
He said: "I could see them and they were clearly panicking, they had started tying bed sheets together in case they had to climb down, but I don't think they would have made it.
"So I shouted over and asked if they wanted me to run over and help them out. When they said 'yes', I grabbed a wet towel and tied it over my face and made my way over to their room."
Mrs Calvert was already struggling for breath so he got the couple to cover their faces and all three of them tried to get out the hotel as quickly as possible.
But the hallway was now so pitch black with smoke that they had to navigate their way out, including two flights of stairs, from memory, with one of them taking a wrong turn at one point, increasing the panic and causing Mr Calvert to trip and suffer torn ligaments in his ankle.
Then, before they could reach safety, Mrs Calvert fainted from the fumes, meaning Mr Semple and her husband had to carry her the rest of the way.
She said: "My husband was amazing too, but Geo went round all the other rooms and he was waking people up to get them out of the hotel."
Mrs Calvert has now returned to the UK, having been told that the smoke inhalation could take up to four weeks to clear completely.
Mr Semple, who arrived back in Glasgow to a hero's welcome on Saturday, but insisted he was only acting on instinct.
He said: "It was just one of those things, I think most people would have done the same to be honest.
"Everyone was in the same situation and I just wanted everyone to get out safe as soon as possible."
Clarification: This story has been edited to reflect the hotel's position that its fire alarms were operational when emergency services arrived to deal with the fire.