Brave Police officer and locals save elderly couple from burning home

A Sydney police officer is being hailed a hero, after saving an elderly couple from a burning home.

Chief Inspector Brenton Charlton is reluctant to accept the tag, insisting other members of the community were just as brave.

Insp Charlton was on his way to work around 5.35am on Wednesday when he noticed something odd about a house on Unwins Bridge Road in Sydenham.


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The off-duty officer pulled up out the front and realised there were flames coming from the back of the home.

He ran around the house trying to rouse the residents and was greeted by other passersby who joined in the effort.

A neighbour confirmed there were people inside, so Insp Charlton began attempts to kick-in the front door. All while dressed in just a jumper, footy shorts and thongs.

Speaking to the media just hours later, Insp Charlton described how after a few goes he managed to break down the door and was confronted by a thick wall of smoke.

“The most important message I can give… you know when they say “get down low and go, go, go”? That works,” Insp Charlton said.

He managed to locate an elderly woman in one of the rooms, who was standing still, believed to be in shock. He got her to the ground and dragged her to safety out the front door.

“I need to (stress), it was a joint effort,” he explains. “It wasn’t just me. The neighbours, at least three tradesmen and a nurse that were driving by (were all there helping).”

They then found the elderly male resident in the backyard and on fire. He too was rescued by the heroic saviours.

When asked about his ‘hero costume’, Insp Charlton had a chuckle and confirmed his footy shorts were supporting “the mighty (Penrith) Panthers”.

And while he may not consider himself a hero, his superior, Acting Superintendent Gavin Wood was adamant, if Insp Charlton “hadn’t intervened we would be looking at a potential death”.

“(It’s) a significant act of bravery in anyone’s language,” Supt Wood said, while also commending the members of the public that rushed to help.

“I’ll be reviewing all of the actions with the intention to formally recognising their actions.”

The man and woman have been taken to Royal Prince Alfred Hospital where they are being treated for the effects of smoke inhalation.