A team of Southwark police officers have been nominated for a bravery award after rescuing ten people from a raging fire in a block of Bermondsey flats.
PC Ben Davis, PC Tim Andrews, PC Pierce Madden (pictured), PC Jack Wilber and Insp Dan Marshall have been nominated in the Outstanding Bravery of the Year category of the Met Commissioner’s Excellence in Total Policing Awards.
At about 2am on Wednesday, November 25, police officers in Southwark responded to a domestic incident in Grange Road, SE1.
PC Wilber and PC Buck attended and were unexpectedly confronted with a block of flats ablaze with smoke billowing from the entrance.
Two cars had also been set alight at the bottom of the flats and the fire had spread to communal areas, trapping ten residents including a pregnant woman, a frail elderly resident and a baby inside the building.
Officers found a man with apparent mental health issues making repeated threats to kill and dousing petrol near both exits of the building.
He punched PC Wilber before making off but was successfully detained by PC Buck.
Both officers immediately called for London Ambulance Service, London Fire Brigade and police back up.
Insp Marshall arrived along with PC Andrews, PC Davies and PC Madden.
Realising the danger and imminent threat to life, the officers, along with PC Wilber, took the courageous decision to charge into the blaze.
PC Wilber forced entry with a paving slab while the other officers used their fleece jackets to ward off intense flames and smoke in the hallways before completing a methodical search.
The thick black smoke made this extremely difficult but, despite the risk to their own lives, the officers continued to search every flat within the three-storey building.
They successfully rescued all ten people trapped inside, including the new baby, and directed them away from the burning cars that were at risk of exploding at any point.
The officers put the safety and wellbeing of the trapped and frightened residents before their own in a remarkable act of bravery.
They are up against three other nominees in the Outstanding Bravery of the Year category. The winner will be presented with their award at a ceremony on February 10. The public vote is open until midnight on Monday, February 6.
To cast your vote, visit: www.met.police.uk/bravery-awards