Burdens staff member wins police praise for act of heroism

Burdens Hero Awarded

Peter Craven of Burdens Colchester has been hailed a hero by Essex Police after he helped save the lives of a mother and baby in a house fire.

Peter will be awarded the Chief Constable’s Commendation on 27 February along with five other members of the public who rushed to the scene of the fire in Clacton last May.

Team supervisor Peter had been visiting his parents when he heard screaming from the top floor of a house across the road.

He explained: “It all happened so fast. I saw smoke coming from the house and a lady shouting for help from the top window so, together with a few others, we grabbed a ladder and rescued the baby boy followed by his mother.”

Discovering that the woman’s partner was still inside the ground floor of the house, the group then forced open the front door, but were unable to open a further internal door and were eventually forced back by the heat.

The emergency services arrived soon after but, unable to gain access to the house, they later confirmed that the mother and child would have perished if not for the quick thinking of their rescuers. Sadly, the man died at the scene.

Peter said: “We were later told that the fire started in the kitchen and that the woman’s partner was probably overcome by the smoke when he tried to tackle the blaze. I’m just glad that we were able to save their lives, but I was only doing what anyone would do in the circumstances.”

Peter’s branch manager Mick Tucker said: “Peter is very modest about what he did and doesn’t see himself as a hero, but we certainly do and the award from Essex Police endorses that view. I’m really proud of what he did that day.”

Steve Ashmore, managing director, Wolseley UK, also wanted to commend Peter’s bravery, so dropped into the branch to hand deliver some Thanks for Making a Difference vouchers.

“I am so proud that we have people like Peter working for Wolseley UK,” said Steve. “In situations like these, people act on instinct and their true character shines through. Peter is a heroic and selfless person.”

Peter has kept in touch with the woman he helped rescue and has even donated a bike to her other son, who lost his in the fire.