Kevin Cokely, NBCDFW.com
Two Fort Worth police officers are among those recognized Tuesday for saving the lives of two people trapped inside a burning duplex
Two Fort Worth police officers are among those recognized Tuesday for saving the lives of two people trapped inside a burning duplex.
Just after 3:30 a.m. Tuesday, officers Carson Bell and Lyndsey Stewart were the first to arrive at the burning home on the 8100 block of Arbor Avenue. Stewart said during a news conference Tuesday that they happened to be very close to the house when the fire call was received. When they arrived at the home they spotted a woman in the yard screaming that there were people trapped inside.
With flames visibly coming from the garage, the officers rushed from their car and kicked in the front door. Stewart said they spotted a woman lying on the floor, unconscious, inside.
"When the lady told us there was someone in there, we didn't hesitate. We immediately kicked open the door, saw her -- there wasn't any question of waiting for Fire. We knew we had to get her out then," said Stewart.
Both Bell and Stewart entered the home and grabbed the woman.
"I remember Stewart's face when she looked up and the flames were coming down at us. We were just, we had to do everything we could. We grabbed on to the female tighter and drug her out," said Bell.
The woman who had been in the yard told the officers there was one more person in the home, in a back bedroom. The officers tried to break the bedroom window, but too much smoke was escaping to allow them inside.
At that point, just three minutes after the initial call, Fort Worth firefighters arrived at the home and went inside for the second victim.
Firefighter Louis Pantoja said they pulled the injured man outside and began CPR.
Both patients were in critical condition with life-threatening injuries. The woman was airlifted to Parkland Hospital in Dallas by CareFlite while the man was taken to Harris Methodist Hospital in Fort Worth by MedStar. The woman's daughter, who was in the yard when the officer's arrived, was also hospitalized after the fire after reporting some trouble breathing.
Both the officers and firefighters are being lauded by EMS personnel as heroes for saving the couple from the burning home and giving medical personnel precious extra time
"Congratulations to the heroes, I'll say it, officer Bell and officer Stewart, and the fire crews that were there. Their interventions in that scene for those patients truly made a difference in those patients outcome," said Matt Zavadsky with MedStar.
Pantoja agreed and said the officers did "a good job. A real good job."
Chief Jeffrey Halstead said he was incredibly proud of both of the young officers and mentioned that Stewart, whose mother is a captain with the department, was the Rookie of the Year in 2010.
The residents in the duplex's other unit escaped without injury. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
NBC 5's Amanda Fitzpatrick contributed to this report.