The Times Online described a conflagration where the British police kept neighbors back from attempting a rescue of people screaming for help from a burning house for reasons of “health and safety”. The police defended their actions saying they were just trying to prevent more people from getting hurt.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….
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. “Tempers were running very high, particularly with the women who were there, but the police were just saying we have to wait for the fire brigade because of health and safety.
“There were four or five police officers. They were here before the fire brigade. We heard the sirens and we came across to help but they wouldn’t let us.
and from the Times Online...
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.”
Let me repeat: The senior officer in charge is confident we handled this incident as professionally as possible
He decided he was not going to do anything heroic, and made sure that no one else would either. He is one of C.S. Lewis' Men Without Chests. Perfectly logical, a follower of the rules, and prefectly willing to see a family of three burn without rescue.