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Officer Rescues Teens From Fire

Officer Rescues Teens From Fire

Posted - Aug. 4, 2003 at 8:46 p.m.



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Samantha Hayes reporting Three 18-year-olds might not be alive had it not been for a Salt Lake City police officer.

The officer just happened to be driving down 13th South when he spotted the house on fire. Inside, three people were sleeping.

Officer Brent Dangerfield was the first to notice the house on fire around 2:30 Monday morning.

He says it's just part of doing his job, a job that on this day involved saving lives.

The fire was under control about 15 minutes after the fire department arrived. But that could have been 15 minutes too late.

Brent Dangerfield/ Salt Lake City Police Dept.: "I started pounding on doors and windows."

Officer Dangerfield had just finished a call on 13th South. He saw the flames before anyone else, even neighbors. He assumed people were trapped inside.

Officer Dangerfield: "We went to the rear of the house and kicked in the door."

He and fellow officer Dave Daniels began checking the house. The fire was already burning inside the attic.

Officer Dangerfield: "Visibility upstairs was only about five feet, and to get to the bedrooms you had to go through the kitchen."

"I found two people sleeping upstairs. (I) actually had to grab one of them and shake him to get him awake. The other kid heard me and woke up when I was shaking the other kid."

Aaron Green/ Rescued from house: "It's an experience that defies words. No matter how tired you are, and no matter how dazed and smoke filled any room is, when you see a flood light in your face and get a uniformed man saying, 'Your house is on fire. Please get out,' like there's really only one course of action. You get out."

All three young men and the officers got out before fire crews arrived.

Officer Dangerfield: "I think we probably would have had the two fatalities upstairs, if not three."

Aaron: "Yeah, saved our life. Truly heroes."

For these two police officers, heroic efforts are all in a day's work.

Officer Dangerfield: "I'm very glad I happened to be driving by there, and was fortunate to be able to help."

At this point, it appears the fire started on the porch from a left over cigarette.

The police officers say the young men have vowed to stop smoking.

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