Brave police officers commended for rescuing man from flat fire

Floral tributes to fire victim Kevin Gray at the scene in Northcote Avenue, Hendon.
Floral tributes to fire victim Kevin Gray at the scene in Northcote Avenue, Hendon.
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TWO police officers are to be commended for their bravery in rescuing a man from a fire in Sunderland.

Pc William Hunter and Pc Paul Cullen were called to Northcote Avenue in Hendon on the night of Tuesday, December 9.

They arrived to find the downstairs flat on fire and a man upstairs trapped by rising smoke.

They were able to reassure the man and give him directions to get out of the property safely, but when he stumbled and fell due to the thick smoke, they went into the flat to rescue the man and bring him to safety.

Now Chief Constable Sue Sim is to commend the officers for their bravery and quick thinking which resulted in the man escaping with minor injuries.

Mrs Sim said: “The courageous actions of Pc William Hunter and Pc Paul Cullen encompasses the true spirit of policing and I commend their instinctive and decisive actions in bringing the man to safety.

“Additional officers who attended the scene assisted their colleagues throughout.

“Sadly, one man lost his life in the fire in a separate flat and our thoughts and sympathies remain with the family and friends at this difficult time.”

lThe body of 35-year-old Kevin Gray was found in the ground-floor flat after the fire.

He was declared dead at the scene.

An investigation into Mr Gray’s death continues after a post-mortem examination failed to establish why he died.