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Layton Ofc. Being Hailed A Hero For Saving Woman From Burning Home

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LAYTON, Utah (ABC4 News) – Tonight a woman is calling first responders heroes after they saved her from the second story of her burning home.

The frantic call for help came into dispatch around 2:20 a.m. and immediately desperation can be heard in the woman’s voice.  

“I’m on the second floor and I have no way to get out,” the 46 year-old woman can be heard saying to dispatchers.

In the call she tells dispatch she had only been asleep for an hour before being woken up by the smell of smoke and tells dispatchers the handle to her door is hot as she begins to worry about how to get out.  The dispatcher tells her to place a towel at the base of the door to keep the smoke from coming in, but you can hear the woman begin to cry as the smoke continues to move into her bedroom.

” Get me out, I gotta get out of here,” she can be heard screaming.

About three minutes into the call she tells dispatch she is sticking her head out the window, the smoke now devouring her bedroom.  

“I’ve got my head out the window, yes, please hurry… I can see fire in my kitchen, I can see fire in my kitchen, I can see fire in my kitchen.  I’m hanging out my window and I can see fire in my kitchen,” she tells dispatch.

She continues to cry as she contemplates jumping out the window and dispatch calms her down letting her know that police are on the way.

Moments later you can hear an officers voice very distantly through the phone.  Three officers arrive on scene, one of them is Officer Joshua Lynch.

“She would have been pretty injured had she jumped from the window,” he said.

The other officers to arrive with him were Ofc. Corbin and Ofc. Bittner.   Lynch says his adrenaline began to kick in as he saw that the house was the end of a long driveway.

“All I could think of was run faster, run faster, run faster, get back to the house, get back to the house!” he said.

Officers were able to knock down the front door of the house but got no response from anyone inside.  That’s when officers heard the woman yelling from the back of the house and ran around to the back.

Lynch says the woman was getting more and more anxious as officers tried to calm her down as they looked for a way to get her out because fire crews had yet to arrive.

“We needed to do it quickly but we needed to do it safely so officers that were helping her out weren’t injured and she wasn’t either,” said Lynch.

As they looked around the property Lynch spotted a 6 foot ladder leaning against the her fence.

“I saw the ladder leaning up against the fence in her yard and you know it might be thirty feet up and it might have only been a 6 feet ladder but, I was able to climb up on the ladder and grab onto her feet and she slid down the window and onto my shoulders and we went down the ladder that way,” said Ofc. Lynch.

The other two officers helped him and the woman down and he says he could see a sense of relief come over as she climbed off his shoulders and was out of the house.

“She was definitely relieved, you could see the stress slowly wash away from her,” he said. “It’s definitely one of the most stressful calls I’ve ever been on knowing that someone is inside and she’s waiting, you know, for help and we’re it, we’re the ones that are gonna have to help her.”

Fire crews arrived soon after and helped extinguish the flames within 15 minutes.  Estimates for the damage of the home were around $90,000.  Fire officials say it was old electrical wiring and an electrical cord in the living room that caught fire which was further fueled by a bottle of cleaner that was nearby.  

Fire officials say the woman was remodeling her home.  She had plans to repaint her living room and because of it had removed her smoke detectors. 

“Time is essential.  Fires grow minute by minute and double in size at the same time, this is thick toxic smoke that are in our fires nowadays because of the thick plastics that are used to build our homes,” said Doug Bitton with Layton Fire.  “We gotta keep those smoke alarms even if they’re off base, that’s better than no detector being active.”

In speaking to a neighbor who stepped in to help her she says she was very grateful and thankful for the help from all the first responders and the Red Cross who cared for her.

She says she calls Lynch and everyone that responded in her time of need heroes.

“It’s what we’re asked to do. I don’t think I’d consider myself a hero but I’m definitely thankful that she was safe,” said Lynch.

According to neighbors, the woman had a few animals that were unharmed.  They say she also has three children who were not home when the fire broke out.  

The woman was examined by medical personnel at the scene and treated for minor smoke inhalation before being released.  

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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