WILLOWICK, Ohio - Police officers from two different departments worked together to rescue and elderly man from a raging fire. He was trapped inside his burning home and the officers were his only way out.
Two Willowick police officers rush to a fully engulfed home, at Johnson's Mobile Home Park at East 305th Street and Euclid Avenue, around 4:30 Friday morning.
"When we all got there, the front side of the trailer was completely engulfed in flames, shooting into the air ten or twenty feet high," said Willowick officer Jacob Cook.
"We could see it from the street, it was going pretty good," said Willowick officer Keith Lawrence.
Two officers from neighboring Wickliffe also arrived on scene, recording the flames on dashcam from their cruiser.
Willowick officer Keith Lawrence recorded the scene from his body camera. It shows he, Officer Cook and others trying to kick in doors to rescue a 75-year-old man who was trapped inside. Officer Cook says his body camera fell off during the rescue.
"There was another door that Sgt. Hirz was able to get open, and once he got it open, we could see, it was, it was just flames inside and there was no way we were going in there and coming out alive," said Officer Lawrence.
"We can't get in…back's open, it's fully engulfed," an officer is heard saying as they opened a door.
Officer Cook grabbed what's called a Halligan tool, and after trying to chop through the wall, they eventually broke through a tiny bathroom window at the back of the home.
"We could see him through the window, the window was about one foot by two foot and it was about six feet up in the air," Cook said.
"He was able to put his arms and his head through, I was able to reach up and grab his arms, pull him out onto my back and basically carry him out," said Lawrence.
Firefighters from four departments arrived to put out the flames. Police say the man only had seconds left.
"When we pulled him out, it was a great feeling, I was so relieved," said Officer Lawrence.
"Luckily this time we were able to get him out, with a positive outcome," said Officer Cook.
The officers also thanked fellow officers Kristen Fitch and Kevin Ankuda, from Wickliffe for their help, as well as their Sergeant Dan Hirz.
The 75-year-old man was checked out by paramedics, but was not hurt. The Red Cross helped him find a temporary place to live.