TWO police officers who rescued a man from a fire at his home have received a national life-saving award in recognition of their quick-thinking heroics.

PCs Paul Jackson and Michael Moody rushed to a house in County Durham after reports that a man was threatening to harm himself.

The 24-year had called 999 late one night in January saying he was going to cut his throat and needed to speak to PC Moody or another officer.

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When PC Moody arrived at the terrace house in Chilton Lane, Ferryhill Station, he and other officers discovered the man had locked himself in the bathroom.

PC Moody tried to strike up a conversation with the distressed man, who was also still on the phone to the headquarters control room staff, but he was heard to make a comment to the effect of "it's too late now".

Those at the scene realised they could smell smoke coming from the bathroom and other occupants said he had a petrol lighter with him and maybe a knife.

Officers broke through the bathroom door and seeing the room ablaze PC Moody grabbed a fire extinguisher from his police car and PC Jackson retrieved a firearms respirator mask to offer protection from the smoke.

They found the man unconscious and face down on the floor in the smoke-filled room. After dragging him clear they administered basic first aid which helped the man recover.

Today (Friday, November 16) the two officers received framed certificates of commendation from the Society for the Protection of Life from Fire for their actions.

Durham police’s Deputy Chief Constable Michael Banks presented the awards to the officers, who are both based at ferryhill, at the force’s Aykley Heads headquarters, in Durham.

PC Moody said: “There was thick black smoke billowing out and we couldn’t really see much, I pointed the extinguisher at the flames, think I managed to put the fire out and crawled along the landing until we found him lying down.

“When we dragged him down the stairs I thought he might have been dead but we managed to help him.

“As police we just deal with whatever we’re sent to sort out. “It was a bit hairy, with the fire it was dangerous, and there were other officers there and we all muck in. It is always nice to get an award and some recognition.”