Hero officers save 2 from fire

May 2, 2009 3:49:32 PM PDT
Two police officers from the 22nd District are being called heroes after rescuing two people from a house fire in North Philadelphia. No one day is the same for police officers at the 22nd District, but today, two officers did what Philadelphia Officers do best, they went above and beyond the call of duty

As smoke and fire poured out of a home on the 2200 block of North 19th Street Saturday morning, Officers Ryan Sullivan and Mike Pazden decided not to wait until firefighters arrived, but to take action on their own.

"We couldn't even the front door, we had tried multiple times to get the front door open, but the smoke was just pouring out, and we couldn't get in there to get upstairs to the second floor; we had to use the neighbor's ladder," Officer Sullivan said.

Officer Pazden didn't even wait for the ladder; instead he raced to a window of the burning house and convinced a 7-year-old to put her young life in his hands.

"The older female was very, very nervous. The 7-year-old was very brave. She didn't think twice. I said, 'sweety, you have to jump, please. I promise I'll catch you,' and she jumped," Officer Pazden said.

However, there was yet another child inside and Officer Sullivan knew immediately she was in real trouble.

"She really was about to pass out. Her eyes were rolling back in her head, she was, actually, coughing out smoke. There was smoke pouring out the window behind her," Officer Sullivan said.

The fire was quickly brought under control. Investigators say it appears to have started in the kitchen.

Two of the three people rescued by the officers are at Temple Hospital in stable condition.

They are alive, no doubt, thanks to the humble heroes at the 22nd district.

"Just another day at the job, you never know what you're going to encounter," Officer Pazden said.

"What I did personally was the same thing any of my supervisors or fellow officers in the 22nd would have done," Officer Sullivan said.

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