FOUR members of the National Police were overcome by smoke yesterday as they rushed to the rescue of a 65-year-old woman whose second-floor flat had caught fire in Avinguda Alexandre Alomar i Villangona in Palma.
Two of the officers were only mildly intoxicated but the other two were said to be in a reserved condition last night.
The 65-year-old woman was also taken to a Palma clinic while two other residents, one of whom was the apartment block's caretaker, needed to be treated for the effects of smoke at the scene.
The alarm was raised just after 3.30pm. It is thought that the blaze was caused by a ruptured gas pipe because the flames were extremely fierce and smoke filled the affected apartment and stairwell of the building extremely quickly - which is why the National Police officers armed with fire extinguishers acted immediately on reaching the scene.
Members of the Local Police shut down the gas supply to the apartment and prevented the flames from spreading to any neighbouring flats.
The thick smoke gave the impression of the fire being much more serious than it actually was and, fire fighters who inspected the scene reported that only the walls and furniture in the kitchen had been damaged by the fire.
Last night the police were praised for their rapid intervention.
A full investigation into the cause of the fire has been opened.