Portland College student and son honoured for saving two woman from house fire

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A PORTLAND College student and his son have been recognised for their outstanding achievement and bravery after saving two elderly women from a house fire started by arsonists.

Nick Hamilton and his son Richard , from Mansfield, and a third man Peter Dring are to receive a Chief Constable’s Community Award after they rescued two pensioners, aged 90 and 84, from the blaze at bungalows on Champion Crescent in February 2009.

Nick had been driving his 21-year-old son Richard home from work when they spotted smoke rising from above the bungalows, while nearby resident Peter had just pulled up outside his house as the fire was spreading.

The flames quickly spread to the roof space of two homes where the elderly resident of each property was inside watching television, unaware of the fire.

But the trio managed to lead the women to safety where paramedics checked them for smoke-related injuries.

Nick, who is disabled, played down his heroics shortly after the incident and said anyone would have done the same in a similar situation.

“I’m no hero — soldiers are heroes,” he said. “We were just glad to help, but I think it’s what anyone would have done in the situation.”

The fire is believed to have been started deliberately by yobs who set fire to a wheelie bin to the rear of one of the bungalows, with the flames then spreading to the roof area.

It took firefighters more than an hour to bring the blaze under control.

Fifty-five-year-old Peter added: “The fire had quickly spread from the wheelie bin to the roof space of the bungalows.

“My first thoughts when I saw the flames were to get the elderly residents inside the properties, out.

“I was surprised to find out that I had been nominated for a community award as I just acted on instinct.”

The Chief Constable of Nottinghamshire Police, Julia Hodson, presented the trio with their awards at the ceremony last Wednesday.

“Evenings like this give us the opportunity to recognise the achievements of not only Nottinghamshire Police officers, but also members of police staff as well as the general public who have made an outstanding contribution,” she said.

“Whether it is for an act of courage, outstanding performance or commitment, the individuals being honoured fully deserve our recognition and thanks.

“I’m extremely proud to recognise the actions of all those who have received awards.”