TWO men from Pontypool have been recognised for their selfless action at a Police Public Bravery award ceremony in Central London.

The National Police Public Bravery Awards recognise the assistance provided by members of the public who have intervened to foil criminal acts and /or come to the assistance of others.

In December 2017, David Millett and Dale Mitchell from Pontypool raised the alarm with residents in Raglan Close, Talywain to evacuate their homes when a serious fire broke out at a property in the close.

Both neighbours forced entry to the property, and ran inside to search for the occupant.

Mr. Millett used an axe to break down the front door and they both climbed the stairs to the living room door.

Mr. Mitchell then used the axe to break down the living room door, which had been barricaded from the inside.

Mindful of smoke inhalation, both men took turns to run outside for fresh air, before going back into the address to search for the occupant.

Having located the occupant, they assisted him from the property.

Mr. Mitchell also rescued the occupant’s pet dog from the property.

Emergency services arrived shortly afterwards.

Mr Mitchell was unable to make the ceremony in London to receive his award.

Attending the ceremony on behalf of Gwent Police, Deputy Chief Constable Pam Kelly said: “As an emergency service, our primary role is to protect and reassure communities, however we are also reliant on members of the public to be vigilant.

“I cannot praise Dale and David highly enough. They acted courageously and their only thought in that moment was to assist a neighbour.

“Their actions encapsulate the values we hold as a Police service, and I want to thank them personally for their actions which, without question, saved someone’s life.”

Dwain Bessant was sentenced to three years in jail at Newport Crown Court in March after pleading guilty to destroying or damaging property recklessly as to endanger life.

During police interview, Bessant said he had tried to take his own life after his brother, Scott, was critically injured in August last year.

Speaking at the time, prosecutor Gareth James said: "There was so much smoke that both witnesses were taking turns to go downstairs to get fresh air.

"In the end, they were able to to open the door and get him out.

"The neighbours showed considerable bravery in acting the way they did and it is obvious through their persistence he was saved."