Const. Christopher Wells and Cpl. Andrew Ashton.

Const. Christopher Wells and Cpl. Andrew Ashton.

RCMP officers honoured for rescuing woman from fire

Two Alberta RCMP officers have received the Medal of Bravery from the Governor General of Canada for a 2007 act of heroism in Hobbema.

Two Alberta RCMP officers have received the Medal of Bravery from the Governor General of Canada for a 2007 act of heroism in Hobbema.

Cpl. Andrew Ashton and Const. Christopher Wells were awarded the decoration for bravery at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on Feb. 24. Ashton and Wells rescued a woman from a burning house on Christmas Day in 2007.

“We were just doing our duty,” said Wells, now retired from the former Louis Bull Police Service that served the Hobbema area and living in Wetaskiwin.

Ashton, who was working with the Hobbema RCMP detachment at the time of the incident, has since been transferred to Wood Buffalo RCMP.

The officers were responding to a distress call about a suicidal woman when they noticed smoke coming from the woman’s house. They kicked in the door but were forced out by walls of smoke.

Smashing in all the main floor windows, Ashton was able to crawl through the front door and Wells entered through an upstairs window. They located the unconscious woman and lifted her through the window to other officers waiting below.

“The last thing I wanted was for some kids to lose their mother — especially on Christmas,” said Wells.

The woman survived, “thanks to the perseverance displayed by the officers that day,” said Const. Christina Wilkins of the Wood Buffalo RCMP. “We commend them.”

The Hobbema RCMP sends their congratulations out to both men, said Const. Perry Cardinal, media liaison officer for the Hobbema RCMP.

“They saved a life and it’s great to see the larger community recognize that,” he said.

rfrancoeur@bprda.wpengine.com