In the middle of the night on July 3, a fire broke out in an apartment complex in Madison, Indiana.
At least five kids and an adult were trapped by the fire, stuck on the second floor of the apartment as the flames got closer and closer. The stairs were completely engulfed.
By about 1:00 a.m., the City of Madison Police Department had responded, and officers crowded below one of the windows coaching the kids to break the window and leap to safety.
“On July 3 at approximately 1:00AM, The Madison Police Department responded to a structure fire in the 600 Block of Walnut Street,” the City of Madison Police Department posted on Facebook.
“Upon arriving, Officers observed that multiple people were trapped in an upstairs apartment, and the staircase was engulfed in flames. A child inside of the home began breaking out windows, and MPD Officers and Detectives were able to catch each child as they jumped from the windows.
“One adult female also leapt from the second story window and was caught by Officers. MPD Officers also entered the ground level apartments to ensure no one else was trapped inside.”
Thankfully, two of the responding officers were also firefighters and were able to begin putting out the flames until backup arrived.
“From 3 years old to 13,” Detective Shawn Scudder said of the children in the apartment. “Their apartment was filling with smoke, and we just had to get them calmed down enough to where they would trust us to fall into our hands.”
The police department also released footage of the rescue. Many of the officers are parents themselves, and Officer Phillip Wimpee said he spoke to the children as though they were his own.
“I think I kind of just went into dad mode,” Wimpee said. “That’s how I spoke to them, calling them ‘sweetie pie.’ It was no different than how I would have talked to my kids to try to get them calm in that situation. It resonates with the rest of us who are fathers.”
The police identified the responding officers as “Officers Midgett, Wimpee, Perry, Lewis, Sweet, Shelpman, Taylor-Moore Detectives Harris, Cutshaw, and Scudder, MPD Captain Heaton” and “Sheriff’s Deputy Conover.”
The cause of the fire has not yet been determined.
A man named Roger Snell commented on the department’s post with a heartfelt thank you for their efforts.
“To the Madison Police Department Fire and Rescue KDH and any bystanders that may have helped these was all of my grandchildren and great grand children from the bottom of my heart thank you thank you thank you,” he wrote.
“My wife and I would be devastated if anything would of happened to any of them so again thank you all Roger & Donna Snell. Grand maw & Grampian paw.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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