West Ham police officers praised for Dagenham fire rescue
PUBLISHED: 06:30 23 March 2017 | UPDATED: 13:57 23 March 2017
Three British Transport Police officers who evacuated residents from a house fire that broke out in the early hours of the morning have been recognised for their "self-sacrifice and courage".
Pcs Jaspal Bassan, Hassan Mirza and Danny Heeroo, based at West Ham station, were on a night shift patrol when they spotted plumes of smoke.
Despite it being 5.30am, they investigated and found a house on fire in Maplestead Road, Dagenham, from which a family of six were trying to escape.
Without considering their own safetly, the trio helped the family to get out and also began to alert the neighbours.
“Our main concern was to get all the neighbours awake because it was only half five in the morning so a lot of people were asleep at that time,” said Pc Heeroo.
“Some people weren’t opening their doors, but I just wanted to make sure that everyone was in a safe position. Within about thirty seconds the house just exploded, glass smashed everywhere, it was crazy.”
Pc Mirza added: “First things first, we deal with the actual incident, and then after, you take a step back and you think, ‘That was dangerous’, but it’s just ensuring you save life and limb and consider your own safety at the same time.”
The trio’s efforts on July 4, 2016, saw them honoured at the British Transport Police Federation Awards of Excellence, which took place in Cardiff on Tuesday.
Pc Bassan said it was a “shock” and a “privilege” to be nominated for the Excellence Awards.
“A lot of people think British Transport Police just do ‘railway stuff’. We specialise on the railways but we are regular police officers and we deal with what we get,” he said.
“We’re not trained to fight fires, but it was our natural instinct to go and assist so we just headed towards the smoke. We saw the house ablaze and we saw the family trying to get out of the house at the time, and we just engaged. We just all split up and somehow we started doing what our training has taught us: to save lives.”
Nigel Goodband, chairman of the British Transport Police Federation, said: “The self-sacrifice and courage shown by these three officers to evacuate the burning house as well as the neighbouring properties went far beyond the call of duty and potentially prevented serious casualties and fatalities.
“The fact that everyone emerged safe and well, other than some smoke inhalation and shock, can be attributed to their quick thinking and bravery.”