Bodyworn video footage has captured the moment two of our officers searched through a city centre block of flats as a fire took hold – including helping a woman and her two young children get out safely.
Police Constables Elliot Godden and Vishal Dave were both at Mansfield House police station in the city centre at around 4.40pm on Wednesday (16 November) when they heard on their radios that a fire had been reported at the nearby building in Lower Hill Street, Leicester.
Both raced outside where they described seeing bright orange flames coming from the building and glass shattering.
Footage captures moment officers search through city centre flats as fire takes hold. PC Dave said: “I was at the station getting ready to go home when I heard it on the radio. I put my kit back on and raced across. I was shouting at people to get out of the way.
Elliot came over and we just ran into the building.PC Godden added: “We went in together and just went up floor by floor to see if anyone was left inside the building.
”The officers described the smoke becoming more intense as they searched each floor.
The fire had started on the fifth floor of the building.PC Dave said:
“When we got to the sixth floor, I did start thinking about my girlfriend and my daughter. You start to think about what if something explodes.”
The building all appeared empty until the officers reached the ninth floor – the top floor – where a woman was present with two young children.
PC Godden said: “We found the female on the top floor and helped carry her children downstairs so they could all get out quickly and safely. The fire service had turned up so we carried on clearing the area then and speaking with the residents.
“Luckily the fire hadn’t spread rapidly through the building which had allowed us time to go from floor to floor.
The fire service managed to get the fire quickly under control before it caused too much damage to the building and put anyone else in danger.”
PC Dave added: “You do think about what could have happened. I’m just so pleased we could be there and help ensure everyone was safe and that no-one was hurt.”
The officers were assessed by East Midlands Ambulance Service following the incident.
Fortunately neither officer was injured. Welfare support is also being provided.
An investigation into the cause of the fire found it is not believed to have been started deliberately.
City Centre Neighbourhood Area Commander, Inspector Nadia Rana said:
“PC Dave and PC Godden put their own lives at risk in order to ensure everyone was out of the building safely. Their actions were extremely brave and we are all very proud of both of them.
“The response from all the emergency services, the local council and other partners to this incident was excellent and meant that thankfully no injuries were reported and that the damage caused was contained.
Thank you to everyone who responded to this incident so efficiently and effectively.
Our thoughts and our support remain with residents and members of the community who have been affected by the fire.”
Leicestershire Poice News release.