Video: Port Washington police officer rescues 79-year-old man from burning home
PORT WASHINGTON, Wis. (CBS 58) -- A Port Washington police officer rescued a 79-year-old man trapped inside a burning home on Sunday, Sept. 12 and the dramatic rescue was caught on the officer's body camera.
Officer Becker was on routine patrol near Washington and Wisconsin when he began hearing popping and crackling noises around 5:40 p.m. Police say this was shortly followed by a fireball coming from the same area.
Upon investigation, he found a home a block away that was engulfed in flames. In body camera footage obtained by CBS 58, you can see Officer Becker arrive at the home. He's greeted by a woman exiting the attached garage who says her 79-year-old husband is still inside.
Police say black smoke was undulating from the garage as Officer Becker made his way towards the doorway.
Video shows Officer Becker screaming the man's name "John! John!" and telling him to get low to the ground and come towards his voice.
The residence was filled with smoke and Officer Becker could feel the intense heat from inside the home. Officer Becker entered the home and was able to pull John out of the home to safety.
Captain Craig Czarnecki, administrative captain for the Port Washington Police Department, said he's proud of Officer Becker and his quick thinking.
"He put himself in harm's way, he did a great job and helped save somebody," said Captain Czarnecki.
The house is currently unlivable, but both of the residents made it out safely and no one was injured.
The officer was treated at a local hospital for smoke inhalation and returned to finish his shift.
Neighbors who saw the fire burning say without Officer Becker, the story could be a bad one.
“I’d be concerned that John would’ve perished if that officer hadn’t acted,” said neighbor Bill Moren. "You have to admire someone like that. To risk their own life is part of who they are.”
The Port Washington Police Department also put out a statement about the fire and actions of the officer.
"House fires are dangerous scenes that can quickly become deadly. Emergency personnel are sometimes presented with only moments to make efforts to rescue residents from inside. We are thankful Officer Becker was in the area so quickly, and despite the dangers presented, was able to affect a rescue of the resident inside."