Heroic dad ‘saved man’s life’ just three days before his own unexpected death

A heroic dad-of-three saved an elderly man from a burning building just three days before his own unexpected death.

Howie Nuttall, a 52-year-old firefighter from Wirral, Merseyside, was also three months away from retiring when he suffered a cardiac arrest at his home on October 4.

His colleagues have described him as a 'brave and principled natural firefighter' who always put the needs of others before his own, reports the Liverpool Echo.

His watch manager Craig Holsgrove, 49, said: "Me and Howie joined together in 1992 and have worked together over the years in Liverpool and Wirral.

"He was working with me at the Birkenhead station, where he had been stationed for the last few years, when he worked his last shift last week."

On that last shift Howie rescued a man from a burning building.

"That is who his was, always putting others before himself. And he did that with his home life too, always helping his wife and their three sons," Craig continued.

"He was only ever really satisfied when he was helping others.

"And he was one of the best firefighters I have ever worked with. Whenever there was an incident where you needed to think outside the box, Howie was the one.

"He was a brave and very principled man who fought for all the people he served."

Another colleague, Simon Swann, added: "I have known Howie his whole career, I started about 15 months before he did.

"He was brilliant on operations, a real natural firefighter, he was born to do this job and he will be deeply missed."

A GoFundMe has now been set up to support Howie's wife and their three sons following his sudden death.

It reads: "Howie was a proud husband, dad and firefighter and was only three months away from retiring following 30 years of distinguished service with Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service.

"He spent the majority of his career on the front line serving the public gallantly at the busiest stations in both Liverpool and on the Wirral up to and including his last ever shift in which he rescued an elderly gentleman from a fire in his flat only three days before his passing.

"Howie was a devoted family man, and was greatly looking forward to a well earned retirement so that he could spend more time with [his wife] and the boys.

"He touched the lives of so many with his great sense of humour and big heart and him no longer being with us will leave a void that cannot be filled.

"We, his friends and colleagues have set up this fund to help out his family at this most difficult time and to help ease the financial burden of not having him around.

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"Howie was well known for putting the needs of others before his own and was generous to a fault.

"We hope that people will show the same spirit of kindness in his memory."

You can donate to the GoFundMe here.

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