Deputies run into burning home
Published 9:20 am Thursday, February 5, 2015
Two Warren County deputies risked their lives last week to search a burning home in the Lake Forest subdivision where they feared someone might be inside asleep.
Sgt. Ford Emery and Cpl. Jeff Harrell kicked in the door of a home at 118 Robert E. Lee Blvd. at about 11 p.m. last Thursday after being the first people to discovering the home was on fire.
“I used to say I would never run into a burning building,” Emery said. “Not any more.”
Email newsletter signup
After searching, they discovered no one was in the home, but a dark blue Toyota parked in the driveway raised concerns.
First, Emery told dispatchers to send a Culkin Fire truck and after knocking on every door of the home, the two decided to enter.
“We knew they were just going to be a couple minutes away but if somebody were in the house asleep or succumbed to the smoke, we needed to get them out before it was too late,” Harrell said.
Inside the home was hot, dark and filled with gray smoke. A flashlight did no good, Harrell said. It was like walking though a thick fog.
“I wouldn’t advise anybody to do that. That’s what firemen are for. We didn’t have a choice in the situation,” Emery said.
Sheriff Martin Pace agreed, saying that in most he advises that no one ever return to a burning building but supported his deputies decision to search the home.
“It’s not something you would do for any reason other than protect life. We obviously don’t have the breathing apparatus, you just have to hold your breath and go.”
Homeowner Guy Bezzeard and his wife, Cynthia, were at their deer camp when the fire broke out.
“It was on Facebook and Instagram before we got here,” he said.
Because of the quick response by the Warren County deputies and Culkin firefighters, “stuff you couldn’t replace, we still have,” he said.
“That’s a Godsend,” he said. “I cant’ say enough about those firefighters. All my wife’s hope chests, everything was saved,” Bezzeard said.
Emery and Harrell found the fire when an off-duty officer reported he smelled smoke in the neighborhood.
“Ford and I were together on Culkin Road, and we had it narrowed down to between Granite Way and here,” Harrell said. “He started on one end and I started on the other and thankfully he found it right off the bat here.”