It was a red letter day for have-a-go hero Jay Huxtable when he was given a pat on the back by police for his brave actions.
Jay dived into a burning block of flats to raise the alarm and help the people inside, and his actions have earned him a top police award.
The Hertfordshire Constabulary salute recognised his selfless reaction when he spotted the blaze in Pheasant Close, Berkhamsted, as he made his way to work.
His courageous actions on the morning of Sunday, February 19, ensured that residents were evacuated and no-one was hurt in the ground floor blaze.
Assistant Chief Constable Alison Roome-Gifford said: “Jay is truly deserving of this award.
“He had no thought for his own safety, only the safety of others and it is right that this kind of public spirit should be both praised and recognised.”
It was later discovered that the block of flats had been set alight in a vicious arson attack by a jealous ex-boyfriend of one of the tenants.
When Jay, 43, saw the flames, he attempted to go inside the building but was forced back by the thick smoke.
He went back to his own home nearby to get some wet towels before going back into the burning building to ensure no-one was trapped inside.
He also helped evacuate people before firefighters arrived and was later able to help with the identification of firebug Mark Bonner, who was jailed for arson with intent to endanger life.
A police awards ceremony was held at the constabulary’s headquarters in Welwyn Garden City on Thursday.
Also on the awards list was Det Con Claire Baldwin, of Hemel Hempstead, whose work is based in Welwyn Garden City.
She was presented with a Long Service and Good Conduct Medal, which recognises the dedication of officers who have racked up 20 years of service.