Generally, you think of firefighters when you think of people saved from fires, but police officers are often the first on the scene — and when the situation calls for an emergency response, the life-saving efforts are often put in their hands.
In early March, a family home near 64th Avenue and McDowell Road in Phoenix, Arizona, started to burn.
Two police officers, who were responding to a call at a nearby apartment complex, spotted the smoke and rushed over.
Ruby Johnson-Smith, 80, the homeowner, was warned by her daughter that the house was on fire.
“And she ran and she said, ‘Mom get out, there’s a fire!’ So I’m like, ‘Fire?'” Johnson-Smith told KSAZ-TV.
Not long after, police arrived and burst onto the property, with one officer even breaking down a section of fence to get to the backyard where Johnson’s daughter and four grandchildren had been, according to KPHO-TV/KTVK-TV.
They managed to get the entire family off the property and used a ladder propped up against a wall to get away from the fire.
The body camera footage from the rescue has been shared online, with many praising the brave actions of the responding officers.
At one point, when the family is seated after being safely rescued, they’re crying and the policeman reassures them, saying, “We’re going to take care of it, OK? They’re all OK, that’s all that matters.”
On (3/9), officers were in the area of 64th Ave & McDowell when they saw smoke coming from a house.
Officers and neighbors immediately ran to help save a woman and her 4 small children. Thank you community members for helping alongside our officers. pic.twitter.com/YJKbJg4TaS
— Phoenix Police (@PhoenixPolice) March 10, 2021
“[O]fficers were in the area of 64th Ave & McDowell when they saw smoke coming from a house,” the Phoenix Police Department tweeted Wednesday.
“Officers and neighbors immediately ran to help save a woman and her 4 small children. Thank you community members for helping alongside our officers.”
Later, neighbors recalled the incident and how stressful it was — especially because at some points, the fire threatened to jump to nearby houses as well.
“She kept saying that her kids were in the backyard, and I thought they were by themselves. I was like, ‘Oh my God … we need to get those kids out of there,'” neighbor Josie Aragon told KSAZ.
“She’s a good neighbor and she’s a very loving person,” Aragon said of Johnson-Smith.
“He saved the family,” neighbor Annette Castillo said of the policeman who risked his life to escort the family out.
According to Johnson-Smith, the two police officers are heroes, and she fully believes they will be rewarded for their actions.
“There’s a crown for them,” she said. “God is going to crown them for the help that they did for us.
“I just feel blessed. Blessed, blessed, blessed, blessed.”
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