Men who sprinted out of bed in the early hours of the morning to put out a car fire have been commended.

When Andrew Park, of Pinner View, Harrow, was woken by a loud bang at 2.30am in March he looked outside to see a car engulfed in flames.

He quickly woke his flatmate, off-duty police officer James Gilligan, and the pair ran outside, still in their pyjamas.

Mr Park, also 34, tried to put out the blaze using Tupperware containers filled with water from the tap in his house.

During that time, PC Gilligan ran down the street and detained the suspected arsonist before calling for back up.

Speaking at the awards ceremony at Harrow Fire Station yesterday PC Gilligan, 34, said: "I had no idea why Andrew was in my room at 2.30am - I told him to go away at first.

"I had only just drifted off to sleep as I was on night duty.

"He told me he’d deal with the fire. What he did to put out the flames alone was impressive, but it’s my job to catch criminals and do things like this.

"I was so focused on catching the suspect, I barely realised we were still in our pyjamas."

Accountant Mr Park told the Harrow Times:  "I knew I had to do something to help. I wasn’t really thinking.

"It wasn’t a very big fire and it was quite easy to put out.

"I’m obviously very proud of it but I just did what I had to do."

Both men were given a letter of commendation from the Fire Borough Commander, Richard Claydon, and Police Borough Commander, Simon Ovens.

Mr Claydon said: "These awards don’t come easily; it’s very unusual to give them out. They don’t just come with cornflakes but these two men are very deserving of them."