A Peterborough neighbourhood policing officer has been named as a finalist in BBC Radio Cambridgeshire’s Make a Difference Awards.

PC Sam Holliday was on his way home from work in February last year when he noticed a large amount of smoke coming from somewhere in his street in Yaxley.

Upon closer inspection, it was confirmed the smoke was coming from the rear of an address in a neighbouring street.

He went to make sure everything was okay but found a shed attached to the house was on fire.

Neighbours who had gathered outside believed there were people inside the house, and as the fire was getting bigger and smoke starting to enter the home, Sam made the decision to enter, where he found the occupants scrambling around to get possessions.

He advised them they needed to get out of the house and helped them gather up their pets before going upstairs to alert the teenage son.

Back outside the address, Sam made sure there was a clear path for the fire service to have easy access to the property.

Whilst waiting for them to arrive, Sam checked if anyone had injuries or was suffering from smoke inhalation, before giving fire service colleagues a full handover of information he had gathered from those at the scene, including that there was a large gas canister in the shed.

After the incident, a post appeared on Facebook from the family, thanking the ‘off duty police officer’ for helping and keeping his family safe. Sam also received a card from a neighbour thanking him for keeping everyone in the street safe during the incident.

About a month after the fire, Sam was contacted by BBC Radio Cambridgeshire who told him he had been shortlisted in the ‘Bravery Award’ category in their 'Make A Difference Awards'.

Sam said: “It’s really nice to have had the recognition for something that for me, seems a little bit day-to-day, but the difference you make to people and the difference you can make in doing something like that to people, I would imagine it’ll stick in their memory – It’s definitely going to stick in mine.”

The awards ceremony will take place on September 29 at Peterborough Cathedral.