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Police officers who saved family trapped in flat blaze embarrassed by praise

Two police officers who saved a family of four trapped in a burning building have spoken of their embarrassment at the praise they have received.

Police Constables Martyn Carpenter and James Merson fought through black smoke and heat to save the family from a flat in Pretoria Road, Bordesley Green, Birmingham, after being alerted to the blaze by a member of the public.

They have since been applauded on social media, with the chief inspector praising their "incredible bravery".

Pc Carpenter said the attention was "a bit embarrassing".

"To be honest, me and Jim have said today it feels like it was a long time ago already. It feels a bit surreal," he said.

"We just did what anybody would have done in the same situation."

The 36-year-old officer saved a disabled teenage girl by carrying her through a window.

The girl, who uses a wheelchair, was on the makeshift roof of the shop below the first-floor flat when Pc Carpenter "dragged her through the window" and carried her through the burning flat to safety.

"I think the adrenaline takes over," he said. "It wasn't until we got them out that you actually kind of like take a step back and think about what you've just done.

"At the time your priority is to get them out."

The officers arrived at the property just before 9am on Saturday, and rushed in to help.

They carried four people from the roof, through the flat and out of the door, with six people hospitalised as a result of the blaze.

The police officers also had to put out the flames - Pc Merson said he thought the fire brigade arrived just as they were bringing out the final family member.

"We had to put out a bit of a fire again which had started up in the corner by the radiator. I put that out basically with my foot," said Pc Merson.

The 38-year-old, who has no fire training, said he is not sure how he now feels about the incident.

"We did our first two jobs, did that, came back to the station, wrote that up and then we turned out for more," he said.

Chief Inspector Baljeet Sidhu said: "This was incredible bravery, these officers put their own lives at risk to save others.

"Without a thought for their own safety they acted swiftly to get the family out of the flat to safety.

"We are very proud of Martyn and James. This highlights the lengths officers go to to protect members of our community on a daily basis."


From Belfast Telegraph