EUCLID, Ohio (WJW) – The Fox 8 I-TEAM has learned that thanks to the brave work of Euclid police officers several residents were able to escape serious injury after a fire broke out inside an apartment building.
The fire started around 11:30 a.m. Wednesday inside a unit at the Bluestone Apartments on Euclid Avenue. A tenant was cooking when a grease fire started and smoke quickly filled the second floor hallway. The resident told police she tried to put the fire out but was unsuccessful.
Euclid Police Captain Mitch Houser said officers are normally instructed to wait for firefighters since they have the proper equipment.
But the officers say when they heard people screaming for help, they ran inside.
“We didn’t think twice,” said Officer Jeff Kotlar. “We ran up to the second floor and as we opened the door to the hallway it was filled with smoke. We started crawling. We could hear people screaming for help.”
While Kotlar and the other officers, Anthony Malone, Matthew Leyde, Brandon Moore, and Thomas Coyne, say they were just doing their jobs but many disagree.
“They were able to get children and elderly residents out of that building,” Houser said. “No one was seriously injured because of their bravery. They are heroes. Even cops have heroes and they are my heroes.”
Firefighters arrived a few moments later, rescued the others in the building and put the fire out.