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Police praised for Lightning Ridge fire rescue

Acting Superintendent of Central North Police District, Inspector David Piddington with two of the rescuers, Detective Senior Constable Mathew Huckle and Detective Sergeant John Rowland. Photo contributed

Four Central North Police District officers who risked their lives to save a man from a burning unit in Lightning Ridge have been praised for their bravery.

Senior Constable Brody Whiting, Leading Senior Constable Drew Midson, Detective Senior Constable Mathew Huckle and Detective Sergeant John Rowland entered the burning unit in Morilla Street last Thursday morning.

The unit was well alight when they arrived, and neighbours alerted the officers that the elderly occupant was still inside.

The four police entered the unit and located the 69-year-old man in his bedroom and carried him to safety.

After evacuating other neighbouring units, police attempted to extinguish the blaze before NSW Fire and Rescue took over.

The man was taken to hospital for smoke inhalation and shock. The four officers were also treated for smoke inhalation.

Acting Superintendent of Central North Police District Inspector David Piddington, said the officers’ swift response saved the man’s life.

“The way these officers showed no hesitation of putting their lives in danger to save another shows their commitment to the Lightning Ridge community,” Acting Supt Piddington said.

Neighbour Denis praised the efforts of the police.

“From the time I made the call to when they arrived couldn’t have been more than four minutes,” he said.

“I could see the flames coming from the lounge room, but the smoke was so thick you couldn’t see the walls.

“The combined efforts of a number of people were absolutely fantastic.”

An investigation has commenced into the circumstances surrounding the blaze, but it is not being treated as suspicious.


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