Brave PCSOs evacuate burning building
Main article content
Two of our police community support officers evacuated five people from a burning building after they noticed smoke.
PCSOs Adam Dixon-Peters and Andy Flett were out on patrol in Buckhurst Hill on Sunday afternoon 17 January when they spotted the fire at the Tandoori At The Chambers restaurant in Queen’s Road.
“I saw smoke billowing out of the chimney of the restaurant and, at the same time I was flagged down by a member of public.”
PCSO Adam Dixon-Peters, the dedicated PCSO for Buckhurst Hill, funded by the parish council
Adam and Andy rushed to the building to see how they could help, concerned that people may still be inside.
“Several members of staff were still inside. They told us there’d been a fire in the kitchen downstairs but it had been put out.
"We thought it best to be safe so, while Adam evacuated them and made sure everyone was alright, I went down to the kitchen to double-check and found another man there so I made sure he left, too"
PCSO Andy Flett
Staff had already called the fire brigade and so Adam drove the patrol car to one end of the road to block it off to traffic and they both worked to find the owners of parked cars to clear the road outside the restaurant to allow fire engines and an aerial ladder platform get close enough to the burning building.
As fire crews arrived from Loughton, Waltham Abbey, Grays and the London Fire Brigade, fellow officers from Loughton Community Policing Team arrived to help evacuate neighbouring buildings and manage the crowd which had gathered.
Thankfully, no-one was injured in the fire – which started accidentally in an extraction system – but the four-storey building is home to a restaurant, offices and a flat. Neighbouring homes were also affected by the smoke and three families have had to move out temporarily while the damage to their homes is assessed.
“I’m proud of Adam and Andy for their brave actions. No-one knows exactly what they will face when they enter a burning building. It’s lucky they were passing by on their patrols at the time and I’m thankful they were able to help evacuate staff and then help the fire crews afterwards.”
Loughton Community Policing Team Inspector Tom Mitchell
"We'd like to thank the PCSOs for their quick-thinking, particularly stopping traffic to allow our crews to get access to the scene and deal with the fire and assisting with keeping passers-by at a safe distance.
"It is another good example of how we work closely with our partners at incidents to keep the people of Essex safe."
Grays Fire Station Manager Dave Bond