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This article was reproduced with the kind permission
of the British Broadcasting Corporation



Thursday, 29 November 2007, 09:59 GMT
Fire rescue policeman is honoured

A police dog handler who saved two women from a house fire in Sussex has been awarded the Queen's Commendation for Bravery.

Pc Eric Wells was on patrol in Brighton on 27 April when he came across the blaze in Millers Road.

One man had already managed to escape the flames and smoke, but Pc Wells used a ladder and smashed an upstairs window to help the two trapped women out.

He said he was "proud, honoured and surprised" to receive his commendation.

The man and two women, plus a third woman rescued by firefighters, were treated for the effects of breathing in smoke, and one of them also for serious burns.

He is a credit to Sussex Police
Ch Supt David Martin

Pc Wells suffered minor burns and cuts during the dramatic rescue.

He tried to reach the third woman himself after helping the other two down the ladder, but he was hampered by the flames and falling debris.

"I was simply doing my job and it was something that any other officer would have done," he said.

"I was honoured and very surprised when I heard about the commendation... I am very proud," he added.

Ch Supt David Martin said: "Pc Wells went back into the burning building to try to reach the trapped woman without a thought for his own safety.

"He is a credit to Sussex Police and has been quite rightly recognised on a national level for his courage."