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Last Updated: Thursday, 21 February 2008, 22:45 GMT
PCSO helps rescue girls from fire
Brixham fire
Five people were in the house when the fire struck
A police community support officer (PCSO) has helped save two children from a house fire in south Devon after they were trapped upstairs by flames.

The PSCO went into the smoke-filled house in Brixham twice to help the girls and also directed rescuers.

One girl was rescued by police and one by firefighters from a bedroom at the back of the house.

Two adults and another child who was aged about 18 months were downstairs and managed to get out witout help.

I thought the least I could do was try and do something to save their lives. I did my bit
PCSO Dave Bird

Emergency crews were called to the scene in Briseham Road after the fire was reported at about 1800 GMT on Thursday.

Two police officers and PCSO Dave Bird arrived before the fire brigade.

After being told there were children still in the house PCSO Bird, a former firefighter, went into the house but was quickly beaten back by heavy smoke in the building.

He then took a blanket from an ambulance crew and went back into the house, using it as a mask, in a second attempt to try to reach the girls.

He said: "I tried to get back into the bedroom but was beaten back again.

"The smoke was about 4ins off the floor. I lay down and could see flames and the children crying, but wasn't able to get to it because of the heat and smoke."

'Heroic attempt'

He came out again and was able to direct firefighters with breathing apparatus to the bedroom where the girls were. They rescued an 18-month-old girl.

The other girl, a four-year-old, was rescued by his police colleagues after they climbed a ladder and managed to break in through a double glazed window with batons.

Sgt Dave Casley of Devon and Cornwall Police said PCSO Bird's effort was an "heroic attempt" to rescue the children.

PCSO Bird's said he would have still tried to enter the building even if he had not been a former firefighter.

He said: "Obviously people are told not to enter burning buildings. But when there are children involved I thought the least I could do was try and do something to save their lives. I did my bit."

All five occupants of the house were taken to hospital suffering from the effects of breathing in smoke.

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