A 15-YEAR-OLD Greenwich police cadet has been given a Met award for bravery after he rescued an elderly woman from her burning Eltham home while on his paper round.
Joshua Robertson was delivering Sunday papers when he saw smoke billowing from a house in Alderwood Road in July last year.
The student of St Paul’s Academy, in Greenwich, banged on the door and found a woman in her 70s who refused to leave her home despite the kitchen being ablaze.
The schoolboy alerted neighbours, who called emergency services, before covering his face and re-entering the house where he persuaded the woman to leave the building.
Joshua said: “She was very shocked and distressed and as I rushed into the house I saw that the kitchen and parts of the floor were on fire.
“It seemed that the fire had started from the toaster.
“I told the woman that she had to get out right away but at first she wouldn't leave."
Both were taken to hospital suffering from smoke inhalation but were discharged later the same day.
He added: "Looking back I feel very happy and proud that I was able to help save her life. I don't think she would have left her house without my help."
The volunteer police cadet was awarded an Assistant Commissioner’s Commendation for his bravery at a ceremony held at New Scotland Yard on January 10.
He says skills learned as a cadet, volunteering in an Abbey Wood care home and his experience during Duke of Edinburgh’s Award training all helped him remain calm in the situation.
Superintendent Parm Sandhu, from Greenwich borough police, said: "Joshua joined our Volunteer Police Cadets a year ago and in that short time, he's proved to be popular and hardworking.
“He's also extremely modest - we only found out about his life-saving efforts after his fellow cadets told us.
"It's an amazing story and many people would have given up at the first attempt and waited for the Fire Brigade to arrive.
“However, Joshua didn't give up, and having already seen the extent of the fire, he rushed back into the house and undoubtedly saved the lady's life in doing so.
"Joshua's bravery, tenacity, calmness and quick thinking are in keeping with the best traditions of the Metropolitan Police Service, and his efforts are all the more astonishing considering he is one of the youngest members of the police family."