A POLICE sergeant who rescued a pensioner from a burning building has been commended for his heroic actions.
Sergeant Gary Cowan forced his way into a bungalow that had been set alight in the Owton Manor area of Hartlepool and got a 65-year-old woman to safety.
Yobs had set fired to a wheelie bin next to her house and flames had spread to the guttering and facia of the building.
Without thinking twice, Sgt Cowan got the woman out and then started clearing neighbouring properties while waiting for the fire brigade to arrive.
The Hartlepool officer was awarded a Chief Constable’s Commendation for his “prompt and professional actions” and “potentially saving lives” on August 31, 2011.
Cleveland Police’s Temporary Chief Constable Jacqui Cheer said: “It is a privilege to be able to say thank you to the officers and staff that display the utmost dedication to their profession, as well as their families.
“It is very important that our staff are recognised for what they do day in and day out, especially in cases where they have risked their lives to save the lives of others.”
Mrs Cheer handed out 20 awards during a commendation ceremony at the force’s Ladgate Lane, Middlesbrough, headquarters, where she was joined by High Sheriff Peter Scrope from North Yorkshire.
Certificates were also handed out to 20 members of staff who had reached 20 years of service.
Mrs Cheer added: “The evening was very enjoyable and I hope that all who received awards are very proud of themselves.”