On Friday, 18 May around midnight PC Neil Dobson was on a routine job with his police dog Monty when he was alerted to a residential building on fire in London Road.
After seeing thick black smoke PC Dobson tied up Monty outside and, with no thought for his own safety, rushed into the building and to the residents’ aid, many of whom were asleep.
On entering the building PC Dobson found that most of the space was already filled with smoke, making visibility and movement difficult.
Failing to rouse some of the residents in the hallway, PC Dobson had to force entry to the flats to wake and alert them to the danger. Despite suffering injuries whilst opening doors and inhaling a considerable amount of smoke, PC Dobson carried on through the three floors of flats and was successful in evacuating every resident safely, including a mother and baby, before the arrival of the London Fire Brigade. No resident was injured.
Without PC Dobson’s thought for the vulnerable, sleeping people inside and quick action he took, the incident could have easily spiralled into tragedy.