A TEENAGER has been hailed a hero after he saved the life of a toddler trapped inside a burning home.

Brave Nelson Fonangwan smashed his way into the Southampton house and ran through thick black billowing smoke to reach two-year-old Adam.

He scooped up the tot and gave him to his distraught mother - before he went back into the building to take the burning pan off the stove.

The child's mother Aneta Jedlikoswka branded him a “hero” saying “there are not enough words to say thank you.”

The drama unfolded when mum-of-two Aneta took some bins out while cooking breakfast but became locked out when strong winds slammed the front door shut.

The meat she was cooking continued to smoulder and the smoke became black and dense.

Her only son Adam was in the living room of the house in Romsey Road, Shirley , and was peering out at her through the window and knocking on the glass.

In a frantic attempt to reach her baby boy she began punching at the double glazed kitchen window.

Her 16-year-old neighbour Nelson, who was asleep in bed, heard her desperate screams and dashed out to help while his mother called 999.

The pupil at Richard Taunton Sixth Form College battled his way through the window and crawled in to reach the tot.

He said: “I couldn't believe what I was seeing. The lady had punched the glass and created a perfect hole. She had cut herself and she was bleeding. She was obviously hurting but all she was thinking about was her baby.

“She didn't speak good English and she pointed to me inside the house and said 'baby', I knew I had to do something so that's when I helped by breaking the rest of the glass and I went in and got the baby.

“The smoke was really thick you couldn't even breathe, I don't know how the baby was coping because I was choking. I didn't think too much because it was frantic but once I heard baby I thought I have to do this. I was a bit nervous though because it was fire.

“When I brought her baby out, she was really relieved her arm was really bad she hugged him tight.”

Firefighters, police and paramedics were all on the scene and the road was partially closed.

Aneta was rushed to Southampton General Hospital where she had an operation for two damaged tendons in her hand.

The 32 year old said she was relieved her baby was brought to safety thanks to Nelson's courageous actions.

She said: “It was a relief. I was so happy to be reunited and happy he was not inside anymore. There was lots of smoke and it could have been so dangerous. I can't thank him enough.”

Nelson, who is originally from Cameroon in west Africa and is studying health and social care, maths, English and PE with the ambition of becoming a nurse, even went to college the same day.

Nelson's principal Alice Wrighton, said: "We're all so proud of Nelson for his brave actions. We know that we have fantastic young people here at Richard Taunton Sixth Form College, and Nelson has really demonstrated that this week. It's great to know that one of our students took life saving actions quickly, and helped to prevent what could have been a real tragedy."