MPD officers save kids, dogs from fire - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

MPD officers save kids, dogs from fire

(WMC-TV) - Two Memphis police officers are being hailed as heroes Friday. They are even nominated for life saving medals after saving children and their dog from a burning apartment.

The two officers responded to a woman in distress around 5 a.m. Saturday. She was locked out of her burning apartment while her three kids were trapped inside.      

Before firefighters could get there two Memphis police officers saved the day.

It's clear from their accents police partners James Schmedes and Christopher Deluca didn't grow up around Memphis

"We're trained to expect the unexpected," said Schmedes.

But Memphis is their beat on Saturday. They went beyond the call of duty when a mom locked herself out of her burning apartment while her three kids were trapped inside.  

"Nothing was going through my mind except where my partner was and getting these kids out," said Deluca. 

Schmedes and Deluca broke through the door and crawled through the smoke filled apartment, emerging with the woman's 9- and 11-year-old daughters.

"We get outside and she said, 'Oh there's another kid in there and we says oh,' so we went back into the apartment," said Schmedes. 

Officer Deluca rescued the 7-year-old boy while Schmedes got the fire under control. But the rescue mission didn't end there.

"Meanwhile he's got the kid outside and the children are talking about our puppy's in the apartment," said Schmedes. 

So they then went back in a third time and saved the family dog.  Now the department has nominated them to receive life saving medals for their heroic efforts. But the two men, who happen to have kids of their own, said saving three young lives is the ultimate reward.

"It's just the nature of the job. You do feel that way, you feel parental towards them, they're all your kids so to speak in the neighborhood," said Schmedes.

The mother was grateful to have her kids, and the kids were grateful to have their dog. The officers do not get fire training in the academy, but they are trained to react in many dangerous situations and they often do.
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