COCKRELL HILL (CBSDFW.COM) – Some Cockrell Hill police officers are being hailed as heroes today… but if you ask them they’ll likely downplay the notion.
When three officers walked out of police headquarters they smelled smoke and saw it was coming from somewhere across the street.
They soon found the Shiloh Apartments, in the 1100 block of Phinney Avenue, on fire, with flames shooting out of two units.
Officers Merced Carrillo, Betsy White and Mike Sutton all sprung into action.
“When you don’t have time to think you do what you know,” White said. “You can’t breathe and you’re just trying to make your way through and get to as many people as you can.”
In addition to the fire, officers knew the time of morning was a serious concern.
“It’s four o’clock in the morning ya know, most people are asleep at four o’clock in the morning,” explained Carrillo. “We had to knock down doors. I mean, not everyone responds, opens their door just on the first knock.”
But Officer Carrillo said checking all the apartments in the units was extremely difficult.
“We couldn’t even walk through the courtyard because we were gagging and it was hard for us to breathe.”
As officers moved through the units it didn’t take long before they found residents in need of help.
“We saw that a female and a male needed help,” Carrillo said. “We escorted them out to safety and then we continued and proceeded on, going on to the other unites and getting people out.”
The cause of the fire is still under investigation but the complex owner said unattended candles might be to blame.
In all, three units were gutted by the blaze and at least three people were injured.
So, do the officers consider themselves heroes?
“I don’t know if you can call it being a hero,” Carrillo said. “But it feels good to do my job.”