Wednesday, April 01, 2009

To Serve and Protect

From England, a truly awful story:

A pregnant woman, her husband and their three-year-old son were killed in a house fire early yesterday as police who arrived before the fire brigade prevented neighbours from trying to save them. The woman screamed: “Please save my kids” from a bedroom window and neighbours tried to help but were beaten back
by flames and were told by police not to attempt a rescue.

Neighbors on the scene wanted to help, but were prevented from doing so.

Davey Davis, 38, a friend of the family, said: “It was the most harrowing thing I have ever witnessed. Michelle was at the bedroom window yelling, ‘Please save my kids’ and we wanted to help but the police were pushing us back and not allowing us near. We were willing to risk our lives to save those kiddies but the police wouldn’t let us.

Mr Davis added: “They were a great couple, a real family. They loved their kids and the kids were smashing. It’s hard to take in.” Another resident, who asked not to be named, added: “There were lads with aluminium ladders who wanted to get to them but the police were shouting, ‘Stay away, get out of the yard.’ They were saying, ‘You have got to wait until the fire brigade gets here.’ Michelle was standing at the window banging on it – we all saw it – and shouting to save her kids but the police were just below her pushing us out and telling everybody to stay away.”

Of course, the police don't see that they did anything wrong:

A South Yorkshire Police spokeswoman said: “The senior officer in charge is confident we handled this incident as professionally as possible. In a situation like that you could end up with more deceased bodies than you had in the first place.”

Alternatively, you could have ended up with less deceased bodies. But we'll never know because the professionals stopped people from taking the initiative. If you are not free to risk your life to save someone else, you are not free.

(H/T: Althouse)


Night Writer said...

Look, mate, you don't want to be messing around with the firefighters union. Try any non-union rescuing and they'll slap a grievance on you faster than you can say, "Bob's your uncle."

Gino said...

i would have forced the police to physically stop me from attempting a rescue.

they may have to shoot me.

you are only as free as you choose to be.