Hero police officer recounts saving residents in Ridley Park fire

RIDLEY PARK, Pa. (WPVI) -- A firefighter since he was a teenager, 21-year-old Michael Hanly is now a Ridley Park police officer.

On Wednesday, he arrived on the scene of an apartment fire to see the first floor fully engulfed in flames.

"Your brain like shuts off cause you just know what you gotta do," Officer Hanly told Action News Thursday night.

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Heroic rescue in Ridley Park fire: Jeannette Reyes reports on Action News at 5 a.m., April 4, 2019

His first instinct was to go to the back of the building. Once there, he saw a woman trying to climb out of the second-floor window and onto a very narrow fire escape.

Hanly went up to get her while his 22-year-old fellow officer, Jason Golden, waited at the bottom of the steps.

"I pulled her out of the window. She could walk, so I told her to get down as fast as she could. Golden actually came up and helped her down," said Hanly.

Hanly then noticed an elderly gentleman at the same window.

"The gentleman, he was badly burned it seemed like, so grabbing him, his skin was coming off almost, and he couldn't walk. So I had to pull him out and it was really hard to finagle his legs out, I remember that. All the while, the fire is (so close)," Hanly said.

Hanly said getting the man out of the home was difficult because they were going into the fire as they made their way down the steps.

The two officers managed to get the couple out safely, although Hanly did pay a little bit of a price.

"My esophagus was burned, but not badly. And the side of my head, I'm missing a little hair. But that's pretty much it, I gotta couple scrapes in my hands," Hanly said.

Neighbors were just absolutely amazed with the officers' courageous acts.

"They're just brave. They just don't think. They go in there and put their lives at risk," said neighbor Jeff Shick.

"If the police officer didn't go in there, they probably wouldn't have made it," added neighbor Ed Lulevitch,

But as far as Michael Hanly is concerned, it comes with the job.

"It's what I signed up for, you know?" Hanly said.
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