FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Fort Worth police and firefighters are being praised by their superior officers for their heroic actions in saving two people from a burning house on Arbor Avenue before daybreak Tuesday.
Police were first on the scene at 3:30 a.m. and firefighters arrived just seconds later.
“We saw that flames were coming out of the house and we heard a female screaming in the front yard that people were still in the house,” said Officer Lyndsey Stewart of the Fort Worth Police Department.
Stewart and her partner didn’t hesitate. Officer Carson Bell, who’s been on the force three years, kicked in the front door. Stewart, four days shy of her one-year anniversary of joining the force, charged in. They found a woman who had collapsed just inside the doorway.
“We started pulling the lady out,” Stewart said. “Right above us flames were coming out, I guess from the garage area, but they were on ceiling. We were trying to pull her out before the flames got her.”
“I remember Stewart’s face when she looked up and saw the flames coming down at us,” Bell said. “We both knew we had to do everything we could.”
They pulled the victim out but then learned a man was still in the house.
The officers broke out a window and thick smoke poured from the room. The fire department was now on scene and firefighters began searching through the blinding smoke.
“We went inside I could hear a noise to my left,” said Firefighter Louis Pantoja. The noise was a man choking and gasping for air.
“I went to my left and found a male lying next to the couch,” Pantoja said. “So me and the crew wrapped him up and pulled him outside.”
The woman was taken by air ambulance to Parkland Hospital with life threatening burns. The man also suffered severe burns and was taken to Harris.
The officers and firefighters were honored for their actions less than 8 hours later. Among the proudest in the audience: Officer Stewart’s mother, a 20-year veteran of the Fort Worth Police Department.
“Oh my gosh!” said Linda Stuart. “I said I’m so proud of you. All the training; all the griping from mom about getting to the academy on time. I said you’ve done a great job Lyndsey. I’m proud of you.”