Fremont cops hailed as heroes for rescuing fire victims

September 9, 2013 8:50:55 PM PDT
It was a perfect example of what our first responders do when lives are at stake ? two Fremont police officers rescued three people from a burning home by using the hood of their patrol car.

The fire spread quickly through the one-story house on Farwell Drive. Ofc. Joel Luevano and his partner Gaby Wright were first on the scene. Luevano noticed a person through this window -- an occupant who had to be rescued from the fire. But the window was too high for ground level access.

"I kind of turned around to see what I had available to me," Luevano said. "On a whim, I grabbed the patrol car and pushed it up against the wall there to give us a better foundation, and it actually gave us good leverage to start pulling the subject out."

Firefighters got the 20-year-old man out, along with his parents, who had already been overcome by the smoke. It all happened even before firefighters were able to deploy a hose because the doors were bolted and locked.

"They had a front door that was locked with a security bar and grill," Fremont Fire Department Capt. Dan Cardenas said. "It was one of those locks that has a deadbolt on it. You need a key to actuate to get out."

The two officers were treated and released from the hospital for smoke inhalation. Two firefighters were treated for minor burns. The homeowners, who operate Bay Area Immigration Services in Fremont, remain in the hospital.

"I didn't speak to my sister; she has the tube, and my brother-in-law is on a ventilator because of carbon monoxide," the homeowner's sister, Sheetal Yadav said. "So they didn't speak to me, but they seem alert, but I do think they need medical help."

The next-door neighbor credits firefighters for keeping the fire from spreading to his home, sparing his classic roadster car collection.

The patrol car has a dented hood, damaged during the rescue operation.

Luevano and Wright are being hailed heroes for their quick thinking and assisting firefighters to save three lives.

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