‘I couldn’t see the child, but I could hear him gasping for air.’ Cleveland Heights officer honored for saving child from burning home

CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio - A Cleveland Heights police officer, who risked his own life to save a child from a burning home is being honored by the city.

Monday night at the Cleveland City Council meeting, Patrolman Josh Robertson was presented with the “Life Saving Award” from Police Chief Annette Mcklenburg and recognized for his courage by Mayor Carol Roe and city council.

“I feel privileged and honored,” said Chief Mecklenburg, “It’s not often that we get to recognize our officers and in this instance it is definitely worthy of recognition.”

Officer Robertson and his partner were first to arrive at the scene of house fire on Greyton Road, Saturday July 6th.

A woman told him her 6-year-old son was down inside of the burning house, and without any hesitation Robertson crawled inside of the home.

Fire Chief Dave Freeman says, it was a serious fire that had started in the basement and spread to the kitchen, and the house was almost fully charged with smoke.

“When I say he risked his life, he risked his life and the child likely would've been gravely injured or killed if it had been another minute or two,” said Chief Freeman.

But Officer Robertson was only thinking about saving the boy.

“I couldn’t see the child, but I could hear him gasping for air,” said Robertson, “So I felt around opened my eyes enough to see a jersey or t-shirt so I grabbed him and tried to get out there as fast as I could.”

The child was unconscious, but Officer Robertson was able to pull him out of the house and to safety as he himself was suffering from smoke inhalation.

“The whole time thinking God get me out of here, hoping he was okay and that we could make it,” said Officer Robertson.

To the relief of the child's family and first responders, the boy began breathing on this own.

All involved knew it was a close call for both the child and Officer Robertson, who also began coughing and gasping for air.

The child was taken to Hillcrest Hospital.

Because of the quick actions of Patrolman Robertson, he is expected to make a full recovery.

At the meeting the crowd gave Officer Robertson a standing ovation including his wife Fox 8’s own Elizabeth Noreika, who was beaming with pride as she fought back the tears and thanked God for keeping him safe.

Although Officer Robertson says he was just doing his job.

“I mean I’m grateful for my awards, but not looking for praise just happy to get the kid and he’s okay that’s what I was happy about,” said Officer Robertson.

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