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Grenfell Tower fire: Heroes awards for three dogs who helped firefighters during tragedy

Sherlock, Murphy and Roscoe were awarded prizes at the Animal Heroes Award

Three dogs from the London Fire Brigade who helped investigators at the Grenfell Tower fire have been honoured with a Animal Heroes Award.

Sherlock, Murphy and Roscoe were recognised for their service to London at the star-studded awards ceremony at the Grosvenor Hotel on Thursday (September 7).

The dogs were nominated for the Public Service Animal of the Year award following their involvement in assisting fire investigators at the tragic tower block fire which claimed the lives of around 80 people earlier this year.

Fitted with special shoes to protect their paws from sharp items and debris, the fire dogs spent many hours in the charred remains of the tower block helping their fire investigator handlers search for victims and pinpoint the cause .

Dog handlers Paul Osborne and Mick Boyle, accompanied by their four-legged companions, were presented with the award by television stars Richard Hammond and Amanda Holden.

Sherlock’s handler Mr Osborne said: “It is an honour to be presented with this award and I am incredibly proud that our dogs have been recognised for their work.

“Sherlock never fails to amaze me every time we go out on a job together and I feel a great sense of pride when he finds something which helps with a criminal investigation.”

Sherlock, Murphy and Roscoe(Image: LFB)

Sherlock, Murphy and Roscoe attend an average of between 180 and 230 incidents a year.

They are highly trained animals who can identify ten ignitable substances, whether they are burnt, evaporated or neat, to determine whether an accelerant was used and whether a blaze was started deliberately.

Cocker spaniel Murphy has hung up his protective booties and retired since aiding in the Grenfell Tower aftermath(Image: PA)

The work of fire dogs speeds up investigations and keeps costs down as they are much more efficient at detection than a machine.

They can also cover a large area quickly and get into awkward and small spaces.

There are only 14 dogs in the whole country trained to do this work.

London Fire Commissioner Dany Cotton said: “Our dogs are an incredibly valuable asset to the Brigade.

"Using their keen sense of smell, which is more accurate than a machine has helped the Brigade Fire Investigation Team find the cause of thousands of fires, including the tragic Grenfell Tower fire.”

(Image: LFB)

Five-year-old cocker spaniel Murphy and 13-year-old springer spaniel Roscoe retired along with their handler Mr Boyle, who had completed 30 years of service with the Brigade, in August.

Mr Boyle became one of the LFB’s first dog handlers 12 years ago, taking on Roscoe, adding Murphy to the team in 2013.

Between them, they have attended more than 2,000 incidents.

(Image: LFB)

Speaking when he retired, Mr Boyle said: “The dogs are all about keeping the people of London safe and they have been an exceptional success.

“One of my proudest moments was Roscoe being named Animal of the Year by the International Fund for Animal Welfare last year.

"He has done incredibly good work for the people of London and it’s nice he got recognition.”

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