By Frankie Barron

A TEENAGER tackled a fire in a hotel room during a school expedition to Ecuador.

Elliot de Vere Green, 16, leapt into action to fight the blaze during a Dorset Expeditionary Society trip where he faced a “double-whammy” of incidents.

He was among 20 youngsters from Weymouth schools who visited the High Andes mountains and Amazon jungle in the challenge of a lifetime.

They were enjoying some well-deserved rest and rehabilitation in a hotel before the last leg of their trip when the unexpected happened.

Emily Garner, 17 was returning to her room when she found that a blaze had broken out – luckily “quick-thinking” Elliot, who was walking down the corridor, grabbed a fire extinguisher and put it out.

It was found that the fire had started from either a fan or lighting fixture which then melted onto a bed and set alight to flammable items, including tents, which were destroyed.

The hotel stay came after a challenging climb through the High Andes of Ecuador where some youngsters were gasping for oxygen in the altitude, as well as a trek through the Amazon.

Heat and humidity as well as hordes of ants and other insects made for a distressing experience.

It was here that Elliot tripped and fell into an ants' nest.

He grasped hold of a spiked vine in an attempt to save himself but came out with bites and spikes all over.

Expedition leader John Hegarty said: “Ants won’t be diverted; they will climb up your leg if you’re in the way!”

He added: “To say it was an uncomfortable existence would be an understatement, but much was learnt, and the basics of jungle survival were rapidly grasped.”

The group of students from Years 9 to 12 spent five weeks of climbing and mountain biking on peaks more than 16,000ft high.

They started in the capital city of Quito, the second highest in the world.

The trip included five trails, such as El Corazon, a climb treated with great respect as conditions change frequently.

The climbers had little to no visibility, and it took them five hours to reach the summit.

Sam Burton, 16, one of the explorers, said: "It was the trip of a lifetime, a hugely intense experience from which I have learnt so much.”

A return venture to Ecuador is now being planned for next summer and interested young people can find full details at