Body cam video shows Evesham Township officer save man from burning apartment

Trish Hartman Image
Monday, June 24, 2024
Body cam video shows NJ police officer save man from burning home
Body cam video shows NJ police officer save man from burning apartment

EVESHAM TWP., New Jersey (WPVI) -- Newly released body-worn camera footage from Evesham Township police shows an officer saving a man's life from a burning apartment earlier this month.

"I got smoke conditions!" he yelled in the footage, running to the apartment.

Officer Kevin Long was on duty at a nearby shopping center on Sunday, June 16, when a call came in for a smoke alarm with possible entrapment on Sagemore Drive.

Long recounted the incident during a news conference on Monday.

"I was like, 'You know what? I'll just go to it. I'm right there,'" he said.

Officer Long was quickly met with an apartment full of smoke and two people inside. He encountered the woman at the front door.

"You alright?" Long yells in the video.

"I can't get my husband out!" The woman responds.

"Get out! Get out!" he tells her.

Long described the challenging conditions in the home.

"The further you proceeded into the house, the more smoke. It was pitch black, you couldn't see anything," said Long.

The couple, police say, is in their 70s. The husband relies on a wheelchair. He was not able to walk on his own, and his wife was not able to move him.

"I can't see anything!" Long yells.

He says it was nearly impossible to see or breathe, but he could hear the man yelling inside.

"I knew I had to do my job. I had to go in there and get her husband out," said Long.

"Where you at?" yells Long in the video as he's trying to find the victim.

"Right here! Right here!" the man responds.

Finally, the officer's flashlight shows the man sitting in a chair.

Long first moved the man's wheelchair out of the hallway, coughing as he pulled out the chair.

He then went back in and pulled him out, and then Long collapsed on the ground.

"It was extremely difficult. I mean I've never been in a fire my whole life," said Long.

Firefighters arrived shortly after. All three were taken to the hospital and released.

Long's colleagues say they're impressed with his quick thinking and bravery.

"He saved the guy's life," said Scott Freedman, deputy fire chief and fire marshal for Evesham Township. "That man is very lucky that Kevin was there and was able to make the right decisions."

Long says it's all part of being a police officer.

"When I got to the hospital I thought about what I did. The risk I took. But it's part of the job," said Long.

Police say the couple are now staying with family while they figure out more permanent arrangements.

Fire officials say it was a cooking fire that got out of control.

Officer Long says while he would do it all again, he has no interest in becoming a firefighter.