Officer saves woman from blaze
Published 10:23 pm Tuesday, December 17, 2013
A Suffolk woman will be able to celebrate Christmas this year after a Suffolk police officer helped her escape a fire at her apartment on Sunday.
Officer Marc Drouillard heard the call on the radio shortly before noon on Sunday and headed for Lee Street, where the house with four separate apartments had smoke coming from the second-floor windows.
“I was the first one there,” he recalled Monday. “I attempted to open the door, but it was locked.”
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The dispatcher’s report had said a woman could be seen on the balcony when the fire was reported, but Drouillard hadn’t seen her when pulling up to the house. So he kicked in the front door, headed up the stairs and located the woman, who told him she had been unable to get out of the house because she didn’t have her key for the front door’s deadbolt.
He led her out of the house and then went back into the building to look for her cat. But when he opened the door to the room where the fire had started, the heat and smoke overwhelmed him, and he had to leave the house.
When firefighters arrived, they extinguished the fire. The blaze was determined to be the result of keeping a space heater too close to a combustible object.
“Officer Drouillard went above and beyond the call of duty to assist a member of our community,” Suffolk Police Chief Thomas Bennett said in a press release. “He should be commended for his heroic actions and a job well done.”
Drouillard, who has been with the Suffolk Police Department for almost two years, will be nominated for a department Life Saving Award, according to the press release.
A representative for the American Red Cross, which is assisting the woman and another adult resident, said the woman did not want to speak to the media.