LAPD officers pull Skid Row homeless woman from burning tent

February 28, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
Los Angeles police officers rescued a homeless woman from her burning tent as she was sleeping on downtown's Skid Row.

The homeless woman, identified as "Debra," was asleep in a tent in the area of Fifth Street and Towne Avenue around 3 a.m. Thursday when the candle she was burning for warmth ignited the plastic.

"And I looked and there was a hole and it was getting bigger and bigger," Debra said.

Officer Martin Garcia, his partner and their sergeant were doing a routine patrol in the area when they spotted the flames.

"She was hesitant to come out so I leaned in and went in the tent and grabbed her to pull her out. As I did we believe it was a radio that blew up and caught on fire and engulfed the whole tent in flames, and as that happened I pulled her out," said Officer Kyle Rice.

According to Garcia, Debra fortunately did not receive serious burns, but Garcia's partner suffered first-degree burns to his right arm and face. The officer is said to be doing fine.

The officers are part of an LAPD detail that regularly patrols the streets of Skid Row.

"I'm very proud of my officers, they did exactly what I believe any Los Angeles police officer would do," said Lt. Peter Casey.

Debra is thankful the officers saved her.

"Thank you guys and I love you thank and God for angels of mercy," she said.


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