Honour for hero blaze-rescue PC
Reporter: ANDREW RUDKIN
Date online: 21 December 2012
A LIFESAVING police constable who dragged a vulnerable man from a burning house has been honoured for his courage.
Brave PC Carl Budgen was handed the Chief Constable’s High Commendation award by Sir Peter Fahy himself at a special ceremony.
Nine months ago, at a 16-storey building near Oldham town centre, the heroic officer put his life at risk several times as he battled flames and dense smoke.
Carl fought to save a man who was declared missing from the Royal Oldham Hospital and reported to have taken an overdose.
The officer went straight to the patient’s home rathr than the hospital after receiving an emergency call.
When he arrived, Carl learned from the building’s concierge that he was there. The patient repeated the words “Not coming, not coming,” when PC Budgen knocked on the door.
After a few minutes a smoke alarm sounded and smoke crept under the door. Carl called for backup, knocked down the door and felt his wau through the thick smoke, room by room.
Several times he was forced back out to the hall by smoke, but eventually found the man in a bedroom — sitting on a blazing mattress.
“He was surrounded by flames and trying to slash his wrists, and when Constable Budgen tried to get at him he kept moving behind the flames,” said a police spokesman.
Carl was again driven out by the smoke, but returned to force the man out
Carl, hospitalised by the incident, needed a week to recover. Firefighters extinguished the fire.
The man, who was detained for his own safety under the Mental Health Act, recently thanked Carl for his action in saving his life.
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