Cop hailed a hero for rescuing Leeds family from burning home

PC Umer Saeed.
PC Umer Saeed.
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A police officer has been hailed a hero after rushing into a burning home to rescue a mother and her two young children.

Response officer PC Umer Saeed smashed a window to get into the property in Ireland Wood, Leeds, following an early hours 999 call.

He managed to lead the family – who were trapped in an upstairs room – to safety before firefighters got there.

PC Saeed said: “I didn’t think of it as putting myself at risk. I could see they were frightened and needed help.”

The officer and a colleague were called to Luttrell Crescent on January 3 after reports of a fire in the kitchen.

The woman retreated upstairs after attempts to deal with the incident instead made it worse.

PC Saeed said: “I could see them up at the window looking visibly distressed when we got there and I wanted to make sure they were okay.”

“I found a brick and smashed the window and put a garden chair up to it and climbed in.

“The smoke was acrid and I couldn’t breathe but I was focused on finding them and getting them out in one piece. It was quite a disorientating situation with the smoke alarm going off. I ran up the stairs and checked every room before I found them in the furthest bedroom.

“I spoke to them through the door as I didn’t want to get them out of the room until I could open the doors downstairs to clear the smoke and have a clear route to take them out.”

After running back downstairs to open the back door the officer returned upstairs to get the family out one at a time.

By the time the family were outside firefighters were at the scene along with paramedics.

They were treated for smoke inhalation but were not seriously injured.

Leeds police commander, temporary Chief Supt Mabs Hussain, said: “PC Saeed clearly displayed the qualities of bravery and professionalism that we so often see from our officers and staff in situations where people are in danger.

“He could see this family needed immediate help and his training gave him the confidence to assess the situation and intervene to bring them to safety from a potentially life-threatening situation.”

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