Two rookie officers in North Carolina are being lauded by the Monroe Police Department after saving three tots from a burning blaze on Tuesday.
MPD Officers Corey Helms and Dylan Cole were the first on the scene at about 2AM after being notified of a house fire on Lexington Avenue.
Upon arrival, Helms noticed a woman on the second floor, identified as Stephanie Munoz. Desperate for help, she dropped her house keys to Helms in hope of rescue.
“My eyes were just burning. It was really hard to breathe,” Munoz told WSOCTV.
A mother of a five-month-old son, Munoz’s sister was also trapped inside with her two daughters.
Helms and Cole initially tried to find a ladder, but ended up bursting through the door and making their way upstairs.
The lawmen told the family to remain low to the ground as they swept up the kids and barreled out of the building.
“He was really sweet. I want to thank him. I feel like if it wasn’t for him showing up at that moment, things could’ve gotten worse,” Munoz said.
Better late than never, the Monroe Fire Department arrived to put out the blaxe while the family was checked out by medical personnel.
“It could’ve been a lot worse. I’m just glad that we’re all OK and that my son’s OK and my niece and my sister and I. We’re all OK,” Munoz noted.
Munoz would later find out that she caused the fire by leaving the stove on.
“I’m pretty disappointed in myself, to be honest. I just can’t believe that I was the one that caused it,” Munoz sobbed.
According to WSOCTV, Monroe Police Chief Bryan Gilliard expressed his great pride in his officers.
“I am extremely proud of the actions of these two officers,” he said in a statement. “Their decisions to put themselves in a dangerous situation to protect and save the people in that house truly exemplifies all that being a police officer stands for. These situations are not something you come across every day and I am proud that these officers used their training and skills to potentially save five lives.”