Caledonia police officer assists family out of burning home

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by Becky Mortensen

CALEDONIA --- A family in Racine County may owe their lives to the actions of one alert police officer.

CBS 58's Sandra Torres met that officer who came to the rescue at a home in Caledonia on Sunday night.

Police and fire crews responded to 5335 Count Dr. just before midnight after a neighbor called police to report the home was on fire.

When officer's arrived there was heavy smoke coming from the second story of the home. Officer James Gardiner forced his way into the home and began yelling to alert the homeowners of the fire.

Through the thick smoke Officer Gardiner heard a voice on the second floor and ran up the stairs. The startled homeowner, Dustin Morrison, armed with a wooden pole, met Officer Gardiner at the top of the stairs in a "defensive manner."

The officer quickly identified himself and told Morrison his house was on fire. The officer helped Morrison remove his two children, ages three and 10 months, out of the home while Jessica Morrison assisted the two family dogs out.

The officer and the entire family made it out of the burning home safely.

The blaze caused $30,000 in damage, but if it hadn't been for the officer's quick actions, the cost could have been much higher for this family.

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