Two Bedfordshire Police officers, including a brand new recruit, battled through a burning building to rescue the people inside when a blaze broke out in Bedford yesterday.
PCs Karen Jarman and Iesha Martin were alerted to the fire by coincidence, when they spotted a vehicle driving erratically to the scene.
As it turned out, the driver had been notified of the fire and was racing to help.
PCs Jarman and Martin followed the vehicle to the scene in Harpur Street and, upon noticing the smoke billowing from the fourth floor of the property, forced entry and helped those inside to leave the flat safely.
PC Martin is a brand new recruit to the force and is in only her eighth week of duty.
She said: “We helped around five people to get out of the flat, as well as the family dog. It was the first time I have ever had to break in a door on duty.
“PC Jarman and I just acted on instinct and it was just lucky that we were alerted to the dangerous scene by the vehicle, who was also trying to help.
“During training and in only my first eight weeks on the job I have quickly come to realise that policing is about far more than fighting crime, it’s also about protecting the public and doing all we can to keep people safe.”
PC Jarman added: “Within moments the smoke became thick and black, and we couldn’t see past our noses.
“I dread to think what could have happened in that situation, but fortunately along with our emergency services partners we could ensure that everyone, including the dog, was safe.”
The officers event went above and beyond the call of duty to approach a nearby charity shop to obtain extra clothes and shoes for one of the people rescued.
Fire fighters also rapidly arrived at the scene to bring the blaze under control, and one man was taken to hospital for further treatment.