A Gloucestershire Police Officer who saved a man and his dog from burning to death has been nominated for The National Police Bravery Awards.
PC Ken Gorton and a colleague had originally been called to attend a burglary in Cheltenham when they saw thick black smoke billowing from a flat.
PC Gorton was aware that a vulnerable and elderly man who rarely left his home lived there, so he knew he had to rush to his aid.
Ignoring the smoke and heat from the fire, PC Gorton checked the kitchen and bathroom in the flat before sweeping through the rest of the premises.
With the smoke thickening and visibility dropping he had to turn back and dropped to his knees to crawl out of the premises.
When a neighbour said they were sure that the man was still inside PC Gorton knew he had to try again and incredibly he defied the ever-increasing flames to head back inside.
Wrapping a wet towel around his head PC Gorton had to crawl into the bedroom where he called out for a response. With no answer forthcoming and with the heat and smoke choking him, he crawled back out only to hear a dog barking from next door.
Neighbours said that flat was definitely occupied so again PC Gorton plunged into the flames.
He was greeted by a man at the top of the stairs. The man suffered from mental health issues and was clearly agitated and told PC Gorton to ‘F off’ before barricading himself inside the living room.
Undeterred, PC Gorton charged his way into the room and implored the occupant to leave. He wouldn’t, so PC Gorton took the unusual step of handcuffing him before leading him to safety.
Incredibly PC Gorton then battled the inferno again to rescue the resident’s dog which had been hiding under the sofa.
It was an amazing act of bravery which certainly saved the man’s life said PC Gorton’s colleague PC Rebecca Boon.
“It was a very difficult and dangerous situation. I can only imagine the conditions inside the flat. I entered one around five doors down and this was already filling with smoke and becoming difficult to breath. Despite all of this PC Gorton managed to remove the resident safety.
“He undoubtedly saved his life.”
Gloucestershire Police Federation Chair Sarah Johnson said she was very proud of PC Gorton.
“He showed exemplary bravery and tenacity in rescuing both the man and the dog from the fire. Given the man’s circumstances this was no ordinary rescue and we are all very proud of him.”
PC Gorton will attend a reception and an evening awards ceremony in London in July. The National Police Bravery Awards honour officers who have performed outstanding acts of bravery while on or off duty. The awards are sponsored by Police Mutual.