By Robbie Owens, CBS 11 News

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) –Two officers patrolling the 700 block of Redbird Lane in Oak Cliff noticed smoke pouring out of the chimney of a residence around 2:30 a.m. Wednesday and quickly responded, pulling a mother and her three daughters out safely.

Police officials said the officers noticed the smoke and knocked on the front door. No one at the home answered, so the two – one of whom is a recruit – went to the back of the home.

The recruit kicked the back door in and entered the house with the other officer, pulling Lakeisha Harris, 32, and her eight, seven and four-year-old daughters out safely.

“I don’t know how I could ever show my gratitude,” Harris said. “I’m just so thankful they were riding down the road and saw the house on fire and decided to stop and see if everything was okay.”

Investigators believe the fire started in the fireplace and chimney. Harris said she has active smoke detectors in the home, but that she did not hear them if they went off.

“For a recruit to show that kind of instinct and that kind of bravery is exceptional,” said Sgt. Benny Handley. “Without having to be told by his trainer, he stepped right into action. That’s outstanding.”

The Red Cross arrived shortly after the family was out of the home. They had been taking shelter from the cold weather inside the officers’ patrol car.

Neither officer has been identified.