Hero PC is honoured for house fire rescue

PC Simon Booth and Temporary Acting Chief Fire Officer Neil Hessell
PC Simon Booth and Temporary Acting Chief Fire Officer Neil Hessell
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A HERO South Yorkshire Police officer who risked his life to save a man from his blazing home has been honoured for his bravery.

PC Simon Booth and a colleague were patrolling Barnsley when they spotted a fire at a bungalow on Laithes Close, Athersley South, in August last year.

They found two members of the public trying to fight their way into the property.

Brave PC Booth climbed into the smoke-filled house through a window to check whether anyone was inside.

He was beaten back by thick black smoke but together with a colleague managed to get into the house for a second time and dragged the man inside to a window.

Firefighters then arrived and began tackling the blaze.

Now PC Booth has received the Fire Service’s highest bravery honour – a Chief Fire Officer’s Commendation.

He was presented with his certificate in front of firefighters, family and friends at Cudworth fire station, Barnsley.

The two members of public who were on the scene, Peter Atherton and Kenneth Orrell, were also both awarded bravery certificates for their involvement in the rescue.

Temporary Assistant Chief Fire Officer Neil Hessell said: “Although this rescue was ultimately carried out by firefighters, it wouldn’t have been possible without the actions of the two members of public, Mr Atherton and Mr Orrell, in breaking the window, and the bravery of PC Booth and his colleague who entered the building to locate the casualty.

“Were it not for their combined efforts at the scene, this fire could easily have resulted in a fatality.

“Our advice to the public in the event of a fire is still to stay out until we arrive on the scene.

“However, we recognise that in exceptional circumstances such as this one, acts of bravery are appropriate and should be recognised as such.”

The cause of the fire was said by firefighters to be smoking-related.