Two officers in Harwich forced entry to a burning house and helped two men to safety.
Officers from Harwich’s Local Policing Team were starting duty at 6am on April 30 when they discovered a house on fire in Fernlea Road, Harwich.
Officers immediately called for the fire service and Ps Mick Deba and Pc Chris Bird rushed straight to the property. They were greeted with a large fire that had taken hold to the front of the house around the gas meter box which housed the gas supply pipe to the house.
Whilst other officers closed the road and immediately started to evacuate neighbouring properties due to the risk of a gas explosion, Mick and Chris went to the back of the property and tried to raise the occupants but after getting no response and with the threat of an explosion at any moment, the pair forced entry to the house.
Risking their lives in doing so, Mick and Chris called out that they were there to help and checked each smoke filled room for any person in the house. They found two 26-year-old men, both in a deep sleep in separate rooms upstairs. With the clock against them due to the increasing amount of smoke, Mick and Chris managed to rouse the men and take them out of the property to safety.
Whilst Mick and Chris were attending to the two men and requesting for an ambulance, there was a small explosion at the front of the house and the fire was taking hold. Fortunately by this time the other officers had managed to move the nearest neighbours to safety and keep the road closed.
Colleagues from the Fire Service arrived at the scene shortly afterwards and extinguished the fire and cleared smoke damage before advising residents that they could return to their homes.
Ps Mick Deba said: “It is fortunate our colleagues spotted the fire when they did and we were in a position to assist. The two men inside were in a deep sleep and may not have woken up themselves before suffering effects of the heavy smoke that was starting to fill the rooms. I am also grateful to the neighbours for their cooperation with officers in vacating their houses so promptly at such short notice despite the early hour.”