Rock Island Officer Rescues Man from Burning Home - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Rock Island Officer Rescues Man from Burning Home

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Fire ripped through a Rock Island home early Friday morning. Seven sleeping people had just minutes to get out. Six were able to so safely, but one person had to be rescued. Typically we share stories of firefighters doing that, but a policeman is responsible for reuniting a man and his family.

Patrolman Daniel Johnson says he was just blocks away when the call came in, becoming one of the first on scene. He saw a man trapped one story up, with smoke and flames at his back. "The male subject up there was obviously disoriented, kind of unaware of his surroundings, confused, coughing as well," Johnson says. And he was not wanting to come down a ladder a neighbor had put up.

"I climbed up about a quarter of the way," Johnson says, telling us he was talking to the man the entire time. "Saying we need to get him down, telling him we need to get him down. We need to get you down." Johnson says it finally worked. "It felt like hours going by, probably only a matter of seconds though, but it felt like an eternity." Until the man was on the ground, talking himself.

"He thanked me," Johnson says. "He was able to go into the vehicle and put his arm around his wife and his kids." And that was enough to have this patrolman telling us he too, is thankful. "It is really rewarding and I'm very, very grateful," Johnson tells us. "Knowing that I did what I could do, all that I could do, and any other person on the police staff here would do the same exact thing." Act in the heat of the moment to put someone else's life first. It's why Johnson says he became a cop in the first place.

Patrolman Johnson has been with the Rock Island Police Department almost two years. This is the first time he's encountered anything like this. Meantime, firefighters were able to get the blaze under control in about 45 minutes. The Red Cross is helping the people who lived here.

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