Officers commended for saving man in house fire

Chief Constable recognises bravery of three police officers who saved a man from a house fire in Castledawson
Chief Constable recognises bravery of three police officers who saved a man from a house fire in Castledawson
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Award for brave cops who entered burning Castledawson building to save unconscious resident

Constables Richard Sharkey, Ade Foster and Dean Lovell were on patrol in the village when they came across a house on fire in the middle of New Row terrace in October last year.

Without a second thought, two of the officers were reported to have entered the burning building and found the resident, a man in his 50s lying unconscious on the floor, before pulling him to safety.

Recognising their bravery, Chief Constable George Hamilton said: “The swift actions of Constables Sharkey, Foster and Lovell undoubtedly saved this man’s life and I cannot praise them highly enough for their bravery during this incident.

“Their actions exemplified policing at its finest and show how the Police Service of Northern Ireland works on a day and daily basis to keep people safe.”

Constables Richard Sharkey, Ade Foster and Dean Lovell received certificates from Chief Constable George Hamilton last week.

Describing the series of events that night, a spokesperson for the PSNI said: “The officers were on patrol just after 10.30pm on October 10 when they came across a fire in a mid-terrace house in New Row.

“Neighbours informed the officers that the occupant was still in the house and the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service were en route.

“Constables Foster and Lovell immediately entered the building despite the fact that there was smoke throughout the premises except at floor level.

“They located the occupant who was unconscious and pulled him out of the property.

“As they did so Constable Sharkey commenced an evacuation including checking neighbouring properties to ensure that the fire or smoke had not spread,” they added.

“The officers provided first aid to the man until paramedics arrived and he was taken to hospital for further treatment.

“The NIFRS Station Officer who attended the scene said he believed that had the officers not intervened, the occupant would have most likely died as a result of smoke inhalation.”

A spokesperson for NIFRS said: “Two Fire Appliances from Magherafelt Fire Station and one Fire Appliance from Maghera Fire Station were deployed. One man aged in his 50s was rescued by colleagues from the PSNI upon arrival of Firefighters to the scene. Firefighters dealt with a kitchen fire of a bungalow terrace in the area.”