A Gloucestershire Police officer who rescued an elderly couple and their dog from a house fire has been to Downing Street as part of The National Police Bravery Awards.

DI Wayne Usher said “I’m really excited, it was a real surprise when the Federation informed me of the nomination and my wife and I are really going to enjoy the experience.”

“I was nominated because I was out running one morning and noticed a house on my road was on fire. There were some people gathered outside so I asked if the Fire Brigade had been notified, which they had, and if there were any occupants inside. There were so I went into the house and got them and their dog out and left them with the Fire Service.” 

DI Usher was off duty and was out running near his home in Cheltenham back in January when he came across a property billowing fire and smoke.

He noticed several people outside the property and asked them whether there was anyone left inside the building. He was told that a couple in their 80s were still inside.

Det Insp Usher banged on their front door and was eventually met by an elderly man. With the fire growing, Det Insp Usher realised the couple had to be got out of the house and he led the man to safety before returning to rescue his wife who was on the landing.

Det Insp Usher got her outside and tucked the family dog under his arm as he did so.

Once fire crews arrived, Det Insp Usher explained what he had done before calmly carrying on with his run.

Later that day he returned to check up on the couple who were extremely grateful for his life-saving intervention.

Gloucestershire Police Federation Chairman Mike Harrison said Det Insp Usher had shown great professionalism in leading the couple to safety.

“This was a dangerous situation and without his intervention it could have been much worse,” said Mike. “Det Insp Usher was off duty and yet still bravely entered the building to save all three lives.

“Police officers don’t walk on by. Or in this case run on by. Whether off or on duty.

“Det Insp Usher upheld the great tradition of Gloucestershire Constabulary – he was calm and collected and defied the danger to ensure members of the public were kept from harm. We are very proud of his actions.”

The awards are sponsored by Police Mutual.