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Fire hero cop honoured for bravery

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: October 22, 2012

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A police officer who crawled through a smoke-filled sheltered housing complex during a Boxing Day blaze in Cornwall has been honoured for his bravery.

Amid fears that elderly and vulnerable residents were trapped inside the burning building in St Austell, PC Gareth Hawken searched a ground-floor flat before helping carry neighbouring residents to safety.

At the time residents hailed him a hero, saying without his actions lives could have been lost, and said he should be in line for an award.

Those wishes came true when PC Hawken was nominated for this year's Police Bravery Awards. He was among a number of nominees honoured with a lunchtime reception at Downing Street on Thursday, ahead of the awards ceremony.

David Cameron was not at Number 10 because he was out of the country, but Home Secretary Theresa May attended the awards.

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