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Police cadet honoured for saving elderly woman from fire

BRAVE: Joshua with his commendation and the Met's assistant commissioner Simon Byrne, left

A TEENAGE volunteer police cadet who helped save an elderly woman from a burning building in southeast London has been awarded for his bravery.

Joshua Robertson, a 15-year-old pupil at St Paul’s Academy in Greenwich, carried out the selfless act in July 2013 while he was delivering Sunday newspapers and saw smoke coming from a house in Alderwood Road in Eltham.

The schoolboy heard the smoke alarm going off and tried to alert neighbours before banging on the property’s door to check if anyone was inside.

An elderly woman answered his calls, but she refused to leave the house despite the kitchen being full of smoke and flames.

Nevertheless, Joshua called the fire brigade, then went inside and eventually persuaded the woman in her 70s to exit with him.

Both he and the woman were taken to hospital and treated for smoke inhalation, before they were discharged later that day.

In recognition of his heroic deed, Joshua was handed an Assistant Commissioner’s Commendation from the police last week (Jan 10).

After receiving his award, the young police cadet said: “Looking back I feel very happy and proud that I was able to help save her life.

“I don’t think she would have left her house without my help.”

Joshua went to New Scotland Yard, central London, along with his mother Judith and deputy head teacher Tony Ring, to collect the commendation that was presented to him by the Met’s assistant commissioner Simon Byrne.

“Joshua joined our Volunteer Police Cadets a year ago and in that short time, he’s proved to be popular and hardworking”, said superintendent Parm Sandhu, of Greenwich police, who attended the ceremony.

“He’s also very extremely modest - we only found out about his life-saving efforts after his fellow cadets told us.”

“It’s an amazing story and many people would have given up at the first attempt and waited for the Fire Brigade to arrive.”

She added: “However, Joshua didn’t give up, and having already seen the extent of the fire, he rushed back into the house and undoubtedly saved the lady’s life in doing so.

“Joshua’s bravery, tenacity, calmness and quick thinking are in keeping with the best traditions of the Metropolitan Police Service, and his efforts are all the more astonishing considering he is one of the youngest members of the police family.”

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