Red hot actor Tom Hardy thanks firefighter Laura and Padiham crews for valiant efforts in battling Winter Hill blazes
A Padiham firefighter was lost for words when top British actor Tom Hardy praised her personally on social media.
Padiham Fire Station acting crew manager Laura Herdman is still floating on air after the heartthrob actor called for a "show of support" on his Instagram account for Laura and other firefighters from Padiham and across Lancashire who have spent several days and nights battling grass fires on Winter Hill.
Laura, who has been a retained firefighter based at Padiham for two-and-a-half-years, said: "When I saw that Tom Hardy had mentioned me by name I couldn't believe it at first.
"It still seems surreal now."
In his message Tom also calls for support for firefighters across the county deployed with the task of bringing the moorland blazes under control. He also thanks for the military for their help saying "Thoughts with you and thank you for your service and hard work."
Tom, who has a string of film credits to his name and recently starred in the cult BBC TV drama Peaky Blinders, was approached by a friend of Laura's who asked the star if he would give the firefighters a mention.
Laura said: "Tom must be inundated with requests like this and he has said that he does not respond to them normally.
"But he made an exception in our case and it has certainly lifted the crews' morale, that's for sure.
"It has been really hard up there on Winter Hill, a bit like walking on red hot lava.
"Everyone has been supportive of us but to receive recognition from a star like Tom Hardy is just incredible."
The actor made his debut in Ridley Scott's action film Black Hawk Down and was nominated for an Academy Award for best supporting actor in The Revenant in 2015.
Also in the same year he played the parts of both Kray twins in the crime thriller, Legend.
Laura is already a big fan of the actor, who is also well known for his charity work, especially for the Prince's Trust, and she follows him on Instagram.
Laura sent a private message to Tom thanking him for the mention and she was stunned again when he replied.
She said: "We have exchanged a few messages now and I believe he has been invited to Lancashire to visit headquarters.
"I don't know if that would ever happen but it would be fantastic if he could come, now that would be amazing."
There is only one drawback to being name checked by a top star for Laura and the Padiham crews.
For everytime they are now mentioned in the news or on social media they receive a "cake fine" which means they have to turn up with the treats for everyone!