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WQAD.com

Burlington Police officers explain how they saved a man from burning building

The house has 65 thousand dollars worth of damage.

BURLINGTON, IOWA   --  A Burlington man is recovering in the hospital after surviving a fire inside his home two weeks ago.

Boarded up windows and charred siding are what remains after a fire at a Burlington home.

"I start seeing an orange glow off on my right hand side," Burlington Police Officer Jacob Jenkins said.

Early in the morning on January 9th, three Burlington Police Officers arrive to a house fire with a man trapped inside before firefighters.

"When you go to a fire scene and somebody is still inside, i'm not going to wait for the fire department to get there," Burlington Police Officer Kegan Jacobson said.

The officers rushed inside the front door wearing no protective gear.

"We actually took our stocking caps off and just kinda covered our faces," Jacobson said.

"I could see all the orange glow and the flames straight ahead of me," Jenkins said.

The house was filled with smoke and the officers weren't able to reach the trapped man with their first two attempts walking in the house.

"We could hear a male yelling for help," Officer Jacobson said.

"We couldn`t go any further than that because the smoke was black, it was thick," Burlington Police Officer Tyler Henning said.

"I mean I couldn`t hold my breathe anymore," Jenkins said. "I had inhaled smoke, so I had to turn around and run out."

Officer Jacobson then climbed the fence and ran to the back of the house, where they believed the man's bedroom was.

"The whole back of the house was engulfed in flames," Jacobson said.

"I immediately start saying 'I need a ladder, I need a ladder'," Jenkins said.

A neighbor gave Jenkins the ladder and both officers climbed to the bedroom window, while officer Henning held the ladder steady. They busted the window and were able to locate the trapped resident.

"I just remember him, you know, his face looked so stressed out," Officer Jacobson said.

"I was able to grab his knee or thigh area and was able to lift him up high enough to grab him," Officer Jenkins said.

"We didn`t even say anything to each other, we kind of all thought ` we have to pull this guy out," Officer Henning said.

The officers were then able to hoist the man out of his second story bedroom window, with the ladder then crashing to the ground.

"At that point we knew we did everything we could," Jacobson said.

The officers then got the victim to an ambulance and he was transported to the hospital. The officers were also treated for smoke inhalation.

The Fire Marhsal says a heated dog dish set the deck on fire in the back yard. That then traveled up the side of the house, to the attic. Neighbors say the victim is still recovering in the hospital. Neighbors are taking care of his dog until he returns home. The house has 65 thousand dollars worth of damage.