Awards at the double for Devizes police

This Is Wiltshire: PC Mark Jenkins, PC Frank Cavill and PC Paul Bridger receive their awards from Chief Constable Pat Geenty PC Mark Jenkins, PC Frank Cavill and PC Paul Bridger receive their awards from Chief Constable Pat Geenty

Four police officers who rescued a mother and daughter from a burning house in Lacock have received awards praising their bravery this week.

The team, from the armed response unit at Devizes headquarters, included Sergeant Glenn Bremner, PC Paul Bridger, PC Frank Cavill and PC Mark Jenkins.

They picked up two awards, one at a police awards evening on Monday and one at a fire awards evening on Tuesday for their response to an emergency call on December 12, 2013.

The call came in the early hours of the morning and at the time there were two police cars in the area, so the officers were the first to arrive on the scene.

PC Cavill and PC Bridger knocked down the front door and tried to enter the house twice, crawling into the smoke on their stomachs and rescuing a pet cat.

Sgt Bremner and PC Jenkins broke in at the back, entering the kitchen and closing an internal door to prevent flames from the living room spreading any further.

PC Cavill said: “We quite often get hoax calls but this time we turned up and the house was on fire. There was black smoke billowing from the windows.

“As soon as the door was opened, black, thick smoke billowed out of the house. When I entered the hallway I couldn’t believe how bad it was, I could see there was furniture on fire.

“We didn’t get far into the hallway before we thought we weren’t going to be able to get any further. We went back in because the initial reports said two people were trapped.”

The two women were spotted at an upstairs window with a kitten and were encouraged to jump to safety, with police officers catching them and breaking their fall.

Although firefighters were on the scene within a very short space of time, the team’s actions meant the women escaped serious injury and they are also the Wiltshire nominees for the national police bravery awards.

PC Cavill said: “It was just one of those calls where we’re not trained to do that sort of thing, but you just do what comes to you naturally. I’m sure anyone would have done the same. We couldn’t have just sat there and waited, we had to do something.

“When we were with the fire brigade afterwards they said, we’re going to be seeing you next week. After doing the fire training it makes you realise that actually it was quite a dodgy situation that we put ourselves in there.”

Sgt Glenn Bremner said: “When we got in we could hear them because they were taking on the phone to the fire brigade. We knew we had to get them out.

“In 24 years of service I’ve been stabbed twice, I’ve been shot at, but I’ve never had a time when I thought I was going to die.

“This was the only time I thought, this is going south really quickly.”

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