SPRINGFIELD — Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood and the Springfield Police Department are today releasing body-worn camera footage of first responding Springfield Police officers evacuating a burning, smoke-filled building, waking up and helping residents escape on Monday morning.
On Monday, Dec. 13 at approximately 4:20 a.m. Springfield Police Officers Carlos Ortiz, Luis Rojas, Michael Cruz, Gustavo Olivo, Jomaris Vazquez, Jeremy Rivas, Thomas Normoyle and Thomas Meleady responded to a fire at a multi-unit building on the 200 block of Fort Pleasant Avenue. The footage begins in the moments officers arrived on the scene where they observed smoke in the back of the building and were told people were still inside.
Officers entered the building, encountering smoke in the hallways and stairwells, and went door to door checking units to ensure residents were awake and assisting them in safely exiting the building as the fire continued to grow. In one unit, officers were able to rescue a dog (minute 1:55).
Aside from what can be seen in this footage, the officers cleared two additional floors in the building. Fortunately, many residents had already exited the building as a result of the smoke alarms.
“I am very proud of these officers who demonstrated their professionalism, courage and dedication to duty by diligently entering and checking units to ensure residents were out of the building,” Commissioner Clapprood said. “These are situations where instincts take over and the officers did not hesitate to enter a burning building, putting their own lives at risk, and were able to lead several residents out of the building.”
Mayor Domenic J. Sarno states, “What an amazing job our brave and dedicated men and women of the Springfield Police Department do, day in and day out. I am very happy to hear that everyone was able to get out of the building. These officers went above and beyond to serve and protect and I have no doubts that their actions that early morning saved lives. Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood and I are so very proud of these officers for their quick and lifesaving actions. Good job Blue and God Bless you and your families.”
The Springfield Fire Department arrived on scene and extinguished the fire. The cause remains under investigation.