Preston flat fire: Police officers praised for rescue

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Scene of the fireImage source, Preston Police
Image caption,
The blaze broke out at flats near a police station in Preston

Four police officers have been praised for their bravery after they rescued residents from a "substantial" fire at a block of flats in Preston.

They were flagged down at about 03:00 BST in Aughton Walk by an occupant of one of the first-floor flats.

Police said she "dropped" out of her window after being unable to leave through the stairway due to smoke, but was not injured.

Officers saw a "significant blaze" in a ground-floor flat and forced entry.

'Really frightening'

Ch Insp Mike Adamson, from Lancashire Constabulary's south division, who was not on site but oversees the patch, said he was "really proud of the brave actions of the four officers that attended".

He said the fire broke through the ceiling of the ground-floor flat and gutted the first-floor flat, leaving considerable smoke damage throughout the entire block, and described it as a "really, really frightening situation".

"I think for the police and all the emergency services it just shows the level of risk that sometimes we are faced with, which can happen on any day or indeed any night when we come to work," he said.

"That's the actions that members of the police service put themselves through but it's what we do to keep people safe. So the officers acted really in the finest traditions of Lancashire Constabulary."

Twelve residents were evacuated from four flats. The officers and a resident were taken to hospital suffering from smoke inhalation.

The cause of the fire remains unknown and an investigation is now under way.

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