Swaffham police praised for rescuing woman from burning building

Fire & Emergency news from the Lynn News, lynnnews.co.uk, @lynnnewscitizen on Twitter
Fire & Emergency news from the Lynn News, lynnnews.co.uk, @lynnnewscitizen on Twitter
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Five Swaffham police officers have been commended for their swift action to rescue a woman from her burning home.

The resident, who is in her 70s, is said to be recovering well after the blaze at the property in Spinners Lane on Friday.

But PC Nathan Woodgate, one of the officers involved in the rescue, maintained it was all in the line of duty.

He said: “We did what we did as this is what we’re trained to do. If that was your nanny you would want someone to do the same. I see it that we are just doing our job.”

Officers at the town’s police station, which is also on Spinners Lane, ran to the scene of the blaze after being alerted by the fire service.

Beat manager PC Paula Gilluley and roads policing officer PC Chris Curtis were first on the scene and, together with PC George Healey, entered the house before being beaten back by the smoke and heat.

Mr Curtis said: “We were met by a wall of smoke and a slight amount of heat in the hallway, you couldn’t see at all.

“I felt the wall going down the side of the living room and felt the door which was hot, I paused briefly because we didn’t know what was waiting for us behind the door.

“I pushed the door open but while there wasn’t a massive amount of flames you could instantly feel the heat.”

The three returned to the house with torches, when they were joined by PC Woodgate and PC Jez Blamire who, after breaking down the back door, found the woman slumped in her chair.

The officers gave first aid at the scene before the woman was airlifted to the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital. She was later transferred to a specialist unit, where she is continuing to recover from her injuries.

Norfolk Police’s assistant chief constable, Sarah Hamlin, said: “The action of these officers is highly commendable and their response was calm and professional in what would have been a very chaotic situation.

“I have no doubt the quick-thinking actions of Paula, Chris, Nathan, George and Jez helped save the woman’s life and without their efforts this could have been a very different story and I speak on behalf of the Constabulary in saying how proud we are of our colleagues.”