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Overcome with smoke, officers re-enter burning building to save lives – Police Bravery Awards – Gwent Nominees
October 17, 2014, 6:02 pm
In the early hours, armed response officers, PCs Caddick and Eustace responded to reports of a suspected burglary at a block of flats.
On arrival the officers were met by the caller who said she heard noises and seen broken glass from the flat below. She had also seen two people running away moments before.
The officers could hear a fire alarm and could also smell smoke. PC Caddick ran to the back of the block of flats and saw that the flat with a broken window was ablaze. He immediately called the fire service and without hesitation both officers went into the building. The door to the flat was locked and the communal area was filling with smoke.
PC Eustace began evacuating the other residents whilst PC Caddick tried to force entry into the burning flat, not knowing if anyone was inside. Smoke was rapidly filling the building making it difficult to see anything or breathe. PC Caddick managed to force open the door but the heat and smoke was so intense, it was impossible to enter. Suffering from smoke inhalation, both officers had to retreat outside.
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Residents raised concerns about an elderly couple who lived in the flat opposite where the fire was. Without hesitation both officers went back in. They were unable to see where they were going but somehow managed to get to the door of the couples flat, wake them up and lead them to safety.
PCs Eustace and Caddick ran into and extremely life threatening and dangerous situation, not once but twice, bravely compromising their own safety in order to save the lives of others.