A BARNSLEY man who ran into a burning house fearing people were trapped inside has been honoured for his bravery.

Stephen Thacker risked his life to check for casualties while firefighters raced to the scene.

The 23-year-old, who works at Asda, had been visiting a friend when he was alerted to the fire on Jackson Street, Goldthorpe.

Smoke was billowing out of the windows and flames could be seen.

"The windows and doors were all shut so I had to kick the back door through to get in," said Stephen.

"I put something over my face and went into every room, looking in cupboards and wardrobes, just in case anyone was inside trying to protect themselves from the fire.

"I was panicking but I did what I knew I had to - if anyone had been inside and I had not helped and something had happened to them I would not have been able to live with myself.

"I went into every room and thankfully the house was empty."Police said Mr Thacker was able to provide vital information to firefighters when they arrived on the scene.

An investigation into the cause of the blaze was carried out and they established that it had been started deliberately.