The officers quickly formulated a rescue plan. / SUR

Two police officers save the life of a disabled man, trapped on his balcony by smoke and flames

The National Police pair bravely rescued the man from a property in Benalmádena, at the weekend

JUAN CANO

Two quick-thinking National Police officers on the Costa del Sol have been credited with saving the life of a disabled man in Benalmádena, after a fire broke out in the kitchen of his home.

The 48-year-old man, with limited mobility, couldn’t escape the blaze from where he was on the first floor by the stairs so, with difficulty, he made his way to the balcony.

Meanwhile, a caller had alerted the emergency services to the fire at 7.45am on Saturday morning, warning that a large amount of smoke was coming from the property and there could be people trapped inside.

On arrival, and from the outside, the two National Police officers could see that the flames were coming from the kitchen and that the smoke had already spread throughout the house. The person who had made the emergency call told them that a married couple lived in that house, although the woman was away on holiday and the husband, who apparently has a disability, could be inside.

The police pair could hear someone calling for help but couldn’t gain access via the front door. Instead, they entered the adjoining house and from there they saw the victim trapped on the first-floor balcony. So they devised a rescue plan, despite the risk it entailed for them: they scaled the dividing wall between the terraces to reach the man, who was very scared.

The resident, described as ‘very large’ and weighing about 120 kilos, was coughing as a result of all the smoke he inhaled. He explained that he was disabled, so he could not leave down the stairs. The police pair lifted him to the balcony railing and lowered him to the ground. The man fell on another policeman waiting below but was not hurt. The officer, however, injured one shoulder and his back.

An ambulance crew assisted the victim, who had inhaled a lot of smoke and was breathing with difficulty. The 48-year-old Nigerian-born man was transferred to the High Resolution Hospital in Benalmádena, where he was admitted for observation. From there, he thanked the police for their quick actions because they both helped save his life.