Hero dad thought he'd saved both sons, 3 and 4, from burning caravan after grabbing two limbs – but only rescued one

A HEROIC dad thought he had rescued both of his sons from a burning caravan – but he had only saved one child.

Zac and Harley Harvey, three and four, were having a sleepover at their dad Shaun's caravan in Ffair Rhos, West Wales, when a blaze broke out.

Brave Shaun, 28, battled through smoke and flames in a bid to rescue both boys – and grabbed what he thought were two arms and headed to safety.

But when he was finally able to see, and looked down, he was holding Harley's arm and leg.

Shaun's bravery saved Harley and despite being severely injured, he tried to get Zac, but it was too late and the fire was too intense.

Zac and Harley's mum Erin Harvey, also 28, revealed the heartbreaking plight to the Real Fix podcast, which helps people share their own stories.

Heartbroken Erin said: "Shaun had come out of the caravan and he was holding Harley's arm and leg.

"He thought that he was holding both Harley and Zac.

"It wasn't until he was out of the caravan and going into the house carrying Harley that he realised it wasn't Zac, it was just Harley."

Authorities are still investigating the cause of the fire in January, which was accidental and not believed to be caused by any of the family.

Shaun had tried to go back to the caravan to find Zac but it was engulfed. He and his eldest son were taken to hospital in Aberystwyth.

Erin said: "I spoke to a nurse who told me that Shaun and Harley were there and to wait at home.

"I asked 'where is Zac' and she said she wasn't sure and the police were coming to speak to me.

"I just knew, I had a feeling."

Police arrived 40 minutes later and cops told Erin that Zac had died.

She said: "Even though I knew it from when I spoke to the nurse, it was still a shock to hear the words.


"I just fell to the ground, and was just shouting and screaming and then all of a sudden there were just all these questions."

At the time, doctors told Erin that Harley's chances of survival were slim due to the extensive burns he had and he was in a coma.

When Harley woke up, he could remember that his brother had died.

"He woke up and started trying to shout 'daddy'", she said.

"It was really hard, just know that he must have been so confused.

"It was quite likely that he said to me 'Zac's dead'.

"Hearing doctors and police and grown-ups saying it was totally different to hearing Harley saying it."

Harley is recovering well and is being supported by all of his family. He returned to school for two afternoons before the lockdown.

Erin said: "I think he's even cheekier than he was before – he's just doing so well.

"He takes everything in his stride. He handles it much better than I could of myself.

"You think these things do happen, you just never think it'll happen to you," she said.


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