Fire hero Robert Chilowa who saved children faces deportation

Damien Pearse, News Repoter

A man hailed a hero after saving children from a house fire in his bare feet is being deported from Britain.

Robert Chilowa, 46, ran to the blaze engulfing a neighbour's house in Withington, Manchester, after hearing screams.

He helped rescue two young children from the flames which claimed the lives of their grandparents.

His bravery "truly demonstrated community spirit", police and fire chiefs said, and more lives could have been lost but for his "noble" actions.

But days after the rescue he says he has been told he has outstayed his welcome in the UK and will be deported back to Zimbabwe.

Immigration officials told him he had to leave as there was "no case to answer" his application to stay, he said.

"It is a slap in the face," he said.

"Friends said, 'When are you going to see the Queen? When are you going to be knighted?'

"I did a great job but now what they are saying is, 'Get lost'."

Four children, aged between 10 and 17, and the youngster's uncle were taken to hospital after the fire in the early hours of 10 February.

Grandparents Mohammed Awad, 56, and Hasma Awad, 47, died at the scene.

Mr Chilowa, who says he fears for his safety in Zimbabwe, ran to the house and was alerted that two children were trapped inside.

He called up and told the youngsters to jump and he would catch them.

The cause of the blaze is not being treated as suspicious.

A Home Office spokeswoman said: "The UK has a proud history of granting asylum to those who need our protection and every case is assessed on its individual merits.

"If someone is found not to need our protection we expect them to leave the UK."

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