Officers praised for their response to flat fire

Two officers who saved three people trapped in a fire in a flat have been praised for their bravery.

Sep 11, 2020
By Paul Jacques
PCs Jordan Loughrey and Claire Coleman

Police Scotland said their actions showed the “absolute best of policing”.

Police Constables Jordan Loughrey and Claire Coleman, both based at Paisley police station, had just finished responding to an incident in Belmont Road on Saturday, July 25, during which four of their colleagues were injured.

“A 20-year-old man was arrested in connection with this and, thankfully, none of the officers sustained serious injuries,” said Police Scotland.

As PCs Loughrey and Coleman were leaving the area they noticed smoke coming from a common stairwell in Netherhill Road, Paisley, at around 7.45pm. They went to investigate further and found the upstairs residents calling for help.

Twenty-seven-year-old PC Loughrey, a probationer with one years’ service, said: “I just reacted. I saw the people trapped upstairs and the flames.

“We alerted the control room who, in turn, alerted fire service and they were already on their way. I grabbed the fire extinguisher from the police car and just went in.

“I was worried about the smoke and for the safety of the people upstairs.”

PC Coleman, aged 39 with 13 years’ service, said: “It was one of the most challenging situations I’ve ever faced in my service.

“We chanced upon it so didn’t have much time to prepare ourselves. Our response was a natural reaction, we simply couldn’t stand back and watch.

“Jordan tackled the flames, which were blazing, while I ran upstairs to evacuate the occupants.

“On reaching the stairwell the smoke was overwhelming. I couldn’t see my hand in front of me and had to feel my way up the wall to reach the doors of each flat.

“It was frightening for sure, but I’m just glad we were there to help and that no one was injured.”

All occupants escaped the building and were checked over by the ambulance service, with PC Coleman treated for minor smoke inhalation.

The cause of the fire was later determined to be accidental.

Superintendent Derek Lang, from Police Scotland’s Renfrewshire and Inverclyde Division, said: “Thanks to the vigilance of Constables Coleman and Loughrey everyone escaped the fire safely.

“Their complete lack of hesitation to help people in need is to be commended and shows the absolute best of policing.

“Earlier in their shift, they’d assisted four of their colleagues who had been hurt in the course of their duties.

“We must never forget the risks faced by police on a day-to-day basis, as well as the professionalism and bravery our officers show in the face of violence or danger.”

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