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Quick thinking officers save pensioner trapped in arson attack – Police Bravery Awards – Hampshire Nominees

October 17, 2014, 6:02 pm

Four officers, including Sgt West and PC Starr, responded to a call from an elderly lady who believed her house was being broken into. On arrival they found the property ablaze with smoke billowing from every window.

The elderly lady was trapped in an upstairs bedroom. There was no way to the ground floor as the fire was so intense so PC Starr ran to get a ladder and climbed up to the window.

The window was small. As he got closer he saw that there was also a dog in the room. He tried to force open the window but it wouldnt open very far. The situation was critical and he punched at the glass with his fists, managing to break it but the metal window frame couldnt be opened. The smoke was getting thicker, tiles were popping from the roof and windows were cracking due to the intense heat.

Sgt West shouted that she would give it a try as she was smaller. She went up the ladder and using her ASP smashed the window to let more air in. The frame still wouldnt open so she placed PC Starrs body armour over the shards of glass and pulled the lady half out so she could get more air. The fire had now engulfed the whole house and a car which had been used by the burglars to start the fire had exploded.

Sgt West continued to hold onto the lady at the top of the ladders until the fire service arrived.

Both officers acted selflessly and instinctively to save the ladys life. Sadly the dog died.

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