Gloucs - saved a man and his dog from a burning building

PC Kenneth Gorton

PC Kenneth Gorton

A PC from Glouchestershire has been nominated for a national Police Bravery Award after risking his own safety to rescue a man from a burning building.

PC Kenneth Gorton was attending a burglary, when he saw thick black smoke billowing out of the home of a vulnerable elderly man.

He entered the flat and searched for the owner, as smoke got thicker reducing visibility and making it harder to breathe. He dropped to his knees and began to crawl through the smoke to the sitting room, before realising he couldn’t go any further and turning back.  Once outside, a neighbour told PC Gorton that the resident was still inside, so he braved the smoke and flames a second time.

Wrapping a towel around his head, he took a deep breath and re-entered the flat, dropping to his knees. He was unable to see and his eyes were stinging. Feeling his way with his hands he crawled further into the flat and called out five times, with no response while the flames moved into the room he was in. He then heard someone in the flat upstairs, so went into that flat, arguing with the resident that he had to leave because of a fire in the building.

PC Gorton ignored the smoke and reduced visibility, to encourage the reluctant man to leave the building before it was too late. As a last resort PC Gorton handcuffed the man’s right wrist so he could lead him from the flat to safety, before going back for the resident’s dog.

All of this happened the week before PC Gorton’s wedding - he gave no thought to his own safety, showing extreme bravery and dedication to his role.