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Policing trio recognised for 'selfless acts' with Chief Constable's Commendation after rescuing man from house fire in Spalding




Three police officers who rescued a man from a house on fire in Spalding have been recognised for their "bravery, courage and teamwork".

Inspector Nick Waters, along with PCs Andy Atkins and William Murphy, were each presented with Chief Constable's Commendations at an awards ceremony on Thursday.

The three officers were called to a house in Spalding last September and forced their way into a bathroom where a man was lying unconscious.

Temporary Inspector Nick Waters, PC William Murphy and PC Andy Atkins.Photo supplied by Lincolnshire Police.
Temporary Inspector Nick Waters, PC William Murphy and PC Andy Atkins.Photo supplied by Lincolnshire Police.

He was dragged out of the bathroom and carried him to safety before the officers told neighbours to evacuate their homes because of the fire.

Inspector Waters said: "We were called out to what initially appeared to be a domestic incident where a man was brandishing a knife.

"As we got nearer to the address, it became clear that the man had set fire to the house after a lady had notified our force control room.

Temporary Inspector Nick Waters (centre), with Chief Constable Bill Skelly and Louise Haigh MP.Photo supplied by Lincolnshire Police.(7117508)
Temporary Inspector Nick Waters (centre), with Chief Constable Bill Skelly and Louise Haigh MP.Photo supplied by Lincolnshire Police.(7117508)

"We could see smoke coming from the front door so we managed to kick it down and evacuate the lady from the house.

"Then we looked across to the bathroom and saw smoke coming from the bottom of the door.

"We bore a hole through the bathroom door and saw a man who was unconcious, with a fire in progress around him.

PC Andy Atkins (centre), with Chief Constable Bill Skelly and Louise Haigh MP.Photo supplied by Lincolnshire Police. (7117513)
PC Andy Atkins (centre), with Chief Constable Bill Skelly and Louise Haigh MP.Photo supplied by Lincolnshire Police. (7117513)

"After managing to let off a fire extinguisher through the door to put the fire out, we kicked the door down and managed to get the man out of the flat.

"Once we managed to alert other neighbours to the fire, we handed the incident over to fire crews."

Inspector Waters, PCs Atkins and Murphy were presented with their commendations by Chief Constable Bill Skelly at a ceremony which was also attended by Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones and Louise Haigh MP, the Labour Party's Shadow Policing Minister.

Lincolnshire Police Awards 2019.Photo supplied by Lincolnshire Police. (7117922)
Lincolnshire Police Awards 2019.Photo supplied by Lincolnshire Police. (7117922)

"We had a letter from the Chief Constable about a month after the incident saying that he had been made aware of our bravery.

"At the time of the fire, I was a sergeant who took great pride in my officers going into that building.

"They didn't hesitate and we all knew what we had to do.

PC William Murphy (centre), with Chief Constable Bill Skelly and Louise Haigh MP.Photo supplied by Lincolnshire Police. (7117516)
PC William Murphy (centre), with Chief Constable Bill Skelly and Louise Haigh MP.Photo supplied by Lincolnshire Police. (7117516)

"We all signed up to save lives and my team worked very hard and courageously in bringing the matter to a satisfactory outcome."

Inspector Gareth Boxall, neighbourhood policing inspector for South Holland, said: "The conduct of these officers who attended this incident has rightly been commended.

"Their actions were brave, professional and I am grateful for what they did.

South Holland neighbourhood policing inspector Gareth Boxall.Photo by Tim Wilson.SG190517-203TW.
South Holland neighbourhood policing inspector Gareth Boxall.Photo by Tim Wilson.SG190517-203TW.

"Our officers regularly run into situations which most people would understandably run from of which this incident is a fine example."

Chief Superintendent Paul Timmins, head of policing for South Holland and east Lincolnshire, said: "These officers all put themselves at risk and their incredible bravery, courage, teamwork and selfless acts resulted in a man's life being saved."

Chief Supt Paul Timmins. (7121773)
Chief Supt Paul Timmins. (7121773)

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