Police risked their lives in fire rescue
Published: July 16, 2008 | 7214th good news item since 2003
TWO police officers have been praised after they risked their lives and rescued an unconscious man from a burning home.
Constables Colin Leslie and Alex Collins, both based at Culloden police station, were responding to a 999 call when they attended the flat in Ardersier at 6.20pm on Sunday.
There had been reports of a disturbance and when the pair arrived at the High Street property they were faced with flames coming from the door.
They were aware a man was inside the building but attempts to talk him out to safety failed.
A spokeswoman for Northern Constabulary said while the fire brigade were on route to the scene the officers felt any delay in rescuing the man could have resulted in death and further damage to adjoining properties.
Attempts to force the door were made, and with the help of a neighbour, the two officers managed to break the locks and get inside the burning building. They were accompanied by a third police officer, Sergeant Ramsay Aitken.
They used fire extinguishers from the police vehicle to try and fight the flames and a high powered torch enabled them to see through the smoke-filled building.
They eventually found the man, who by this time was unconscious.
He was pulled to safety by the officers and was treated for smoke inhalation by paramedics outside before being taken to Raigmore Hospital.
It is understood a woman had also been in the house but escaped.
Constables Leslie and Collins were also treated by ambulance staff and had to go to hospital.
They were praised yesterday for their professional and selfless actions in fighting the fire and rescuing the man.
Chief Inspector Julian Innes said: “Their actions were both brave and commendable and a credit to Northern Constabulary.”
Fire crews from Inverness and Nairn later arrived on scene.
A spokesman for Highlands and Islands Fire and Rescue Service said firefighters wearing breathing apparatus used two hose reel jets to tackle the fire, which caused damage to the hallway and other parts of the house.