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Fearless off-duty officer rushes to evacuate burning building – National Police Awards – Sussex Nominee

October 17, 2014, 6:02 pm

Sgt Emery was off-duty and was in the car with his son when he saw smoke and flames coming from the top floor flat of a four-storey building. He immediately phoned the fire service and was instructed to stay outside. He decided to enter the building and started to carry out a search.

He kicked in the front door and quickly made his way to the top floor. He could see smoke coming from one of the flats and he felt the door which was warm. He then shouted through the letterbox and tried unsuccessfully to gain entry. He then banged on the neighbouring door of two elderly residents who initially refused to open the door or to leave the premises.

After showing his warrant card, the door was eventually opened but with the chain on and the elderly man was holding a knife. Sgt Emery managed to persuade him that he was a police officer, enquiring if the couple knew the whereabouts of their neighbour and they said he was probably in the pub. The officer went back to the door, banged, kicked and shouted but got no reply. The heat and smoke were getting intense. Sgt Emery took the elderly couple to a place of safety. On the way out he banged on the doors of each flat to make sure no-one was left inside.

The fire service arrived as he was leaving the building and went on to rescue the occupant of the burning flat who had been overcome with smoke inhalation.

Whilst off-duty, Sgt Emery ran into a four-storey building which was ablaze. This took incredible courage. With no consideration for his own safety, his priority was getting everyone out.

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