Two police officers have been hailed for their “courage” after rescuing two elderly women from a house fire in north-east Essex last night.

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Emergency services were called to Humber Road, Chelmsford, at 9.50pm yesterday following reports two women, in their 70s and 80s, were trapped inside a building engulfed in flames.

Officers from Essex Police’s armed response teams on patrol nearby rushed to the scene and broke through the locked front door as smoke billowed out of the property.

“Once inside, the two officers called out to the occupants and could hear muffled voices coming from upstairs,” a force spokesman said.

“They quickly realised the fire was coming from the kitchen and closed the door to prevent the fire spreading.

“They then braved the choking smoke to crawl up the stairs and rescue the two women, one aged in her 70s and one aged in her 80s, who were trapped in an upstairs bedroom.”

Paramedics treated the pair before taking them to Broomfield Hospital to be checked over.

The blaze was extinguished by 10.50pm.

An Essex County Fire & Rescue Service (ECFRS) said: “The women were by an open window and were in constant contact with ECFRS control operators throughout their ordeal. They were rescued before firefighters arrived.”

Both officers were checked over but had not suffered adverse effects from the smoke inhalation.

Glenn Maleary, superintendent for operational policing command at Essex Police, praised the two officers.

“These officers yet again demonstrate the courage expected of our police, they have taken themselves into danger to protect and rescue others,” he said.

“Thankfully other blue light services were quickly on hand to assist afterwards; the householders were handed to ambulance crews and Essex County Fire and Rescue Service stopped the fire.”

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