Leeds police officer disregards own safety to save family from house fire

Response officer PC Umer Saeed wasted no time in gaining entry to a burning property with people trapped inside, smashing a window and making his way to the family.

Umer and a colleague were called to deal with reports of a kitchen fire in the early hours of the morning. A woman and her two young children had retreated upstairs after attempts to deal with the incident instead made it worse.

PC Saeed said: "I could see them up at the window looking visibly distressed when we got there and I wanted to make sure they were okay.

"I found a brick and smashed the window and put a garden chair up to it and climbed in.

"The smoke was acrid and I couldn’t breathe but I was focused on finding them and getting them out in one piece. It was quite a disorientating situation with the smoke alarm going off. I ran up the stairs and checked every room before I found them in the furthest bedroom.

"I spoke to them through the door as I didn’t want to get them out of the room until I could open the doors downstairs to clear the smoke and have a clear route to take them out."

After running back downstairs to open the back door, he returned upstairs to get the family out one at a time. By the time the family were outside firefighters were at the scene along with paramedics.

PC Saeed added: "I didn’t think of it as putting myself at risk. I could see they were frightened and needed help."

Leeds police commander, temporary Chief Superintendent Mabs Hussain, said: "PC Saeed clearly displayed the qualities of bravery and professionalism that we so often see from our officers and staff in situations where people are in danger.

"He could see this family needed immediate help and his training gave him the confidence to assess the situation and intervene to bring them to safety from a potentially life-threatening situation."

Source: Yorkshire Evening Post