FIVE brave Wiltshire Police colleagues have been hailed as heroes for working together to save a badly-injured woman trapped in a burning building - they even faced an explosion while in the line of duty.

Det Sgt Dave Hambly, PC Deborah Laycock and PC Luke Godfrey each received a Chief Constable’s Commendation for their quick-thinking efforts while PC Millis Miller and Det Sgt David Ridler won an Outstanding Teamwork award for the part they played in this stressful situation.

The Society for the Protection of Life and Fire presented these officers with a Team Bravery Certificate for this lifesaving work.

The officers responded to an early hours emergency call which reported neighbours hearing a woman screaming inside a house on Boreham Field in Warmnister.

They raced to the scene of the 999 call and found there was so much smoke billowing from the property’s windows that although they could hear the woman’s cries for help, they could not actually see her because of the thick fumes.

As time ticked by, the heroic emergency service crew worked hard to find the distressed homeowner but soon noticed the smoke getting much worse and could soon see flames beginning to consume the upstairs level.

They eventually gained access to the downstairs rooms of the house and used fire extinguishers to put out some of the burning building - then, suddenly, there was an explosion.

The blast forced the officers to make a hasty retreat and they were worried when they could no longer hear the woman making any noise after the big bang.

Thankfully, they saw her again at the back window, which they told her to open and leap out of before the fire worsened further.

Despite the heat of the blaze and the constant plumes of choking smoke, she managed to jump to safety and paramedics rushed her to hospital so that her severe burns and injuries could be treated.

A Wiltshire Police spokesman said: “The officers showed extreme bravery without fear of injury to themselves, with the safety of the woman at the front of their mind at all times.

“Despite being faced with very difficult circumstances, they performed the primary function of a police officer to preserve life, exposing themselves to serious personal danger, and maintained the highest standards of conduct while doing so.

“We thank them for the bravery and exceptional professionalism they displayed that night.”

This is possibly the most dramatic example of the work officers do around the county.

The force invited the awards winners to get their friends or family to join them for the virtual ceremony, attended by senior officers and staff from across Wiltshire Police and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner.

Deputy Lieutenant Dame Elizabeth Neville took part in the ceremony. She served as Wiltshire Police’s Chief Constable from 1997 until her retirement in 2004, was Wiltshire’s first female Chief Constable and only the second female Chief Constable in the whole of the UK.