Off-Duty Cop Hailed A Hero For Saving Couple From Burning Sydney Home

He was wearing footy shorts and thongs!

30 August 2017

Article heading image for Off-Duty Cop Hailed A Hero For Saving Couple From Burning Sydney Home

A Sydney police officer is being considered for a bravery award after saving an elderly couple from their burning home in Sydenham early this morning.

Commander of the Rescue & Bomb Disposal Squad Brenton Charlton was driving to work at about 5.40am when he saw what he thought was smoke coming from the back of a home along Unwins Bridge Road, saying "it didn't appear right".

Wearing just a t-shirt, footy shorts and thongs the Chief Inspector was joined by at least three tradies, neighbours and a nurse who was on her morning jog.

After being told two people were inside, Chief Inspector Charlton kicked in the front door and dropped to the floor due to the amount of smoke in the house.

"The most important message I can give is, you know when they say, 'get down low and go, go, go', it works 100 per cent."

With some 25 years experience in the force, the Commander located the elderly woman - aged in her mid-80s - in one of the front bedrooms and managed to get her out with the help of the tradesmen.


They then turned their attention to saving the elderly man from the back of house, thought to have been on fire as he tried to douse the flames with a garden hose, dragging him over broken glass to the front of the property.

The Chief Inspector is now being considered for a bravery award, but insists he's not a hero.

"It wasn't just me, it was a joint effort ... I don't want to use the old cliches of it being about ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances, what it is - it's an action that had to be taken and that's it as far as I'm concerned."

"Imagine that could be mother or my wife or my kids or my family, I'd expect the same done for me."

As for wearing footy shorts and thongs at the time, "oh look, they've got to be the mighty Panthers and just a pair of havaianas - sponsorship I apologise - and just my local rescue shirt and jumper."

The elderly couple remains in RPA Hospital, the woman in a serious condition with both being treated for smoke inhalation.

As for the cause of the blaze, it's still being investigated which forensic police and fire investigators at the scene.

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