A 3-year-old Garnett child is safe after two Lawrence police officers helped their mother rescue them from a house fire.
On Wednesday afternoon, Officers Stephen Ramsdell and Alex Brittain were in Garnett, about 50 miles south of Lawrence, following up on an investigation into a Lawrence incident.
They were speaking with a woman outside her home when Ramsdell noticed a large fire glowing inside, according to a Facebook post from the Lawrence Police Department.
The woman said her child was still inside, and the fire was spreading quickly, according to LPD. Ramsdell contacted Douglas County dispatch to alert Anderson County first responders. Brittain and the child’s mother initially attempted to get in through the front door, but they were met with rapidly growing flames, according to the post.
They ran around to the side door and began to crawl inside toward the child’s bedroom, according to LPD.
“Officer Ramsdell could not see through the dense layer of smoke, but he could hear the 3-year-old child crying inside to his left,” the post said. “Officers Ramsdell and Brittain were forced to evacuate momentarily to seek fresh air, as the suffocating smoke and scorching heat caused both officers to suffer inhalation burns throughout their airways.”
“By this time, approximately half of the home was engulfed in flames as the inferno continued to rapidly spread,” the post continued.
“Officer Brittain ran around to the rear of the burning home to find another way into the child’s bedroom; the child’s mother then ran into the burning home through the side entry door, with Officer Ramsdell trailing behind her. The child was rescued by the mother, and Officer Ramsdell stood in the doorway using his flashlight to signal and guide the mother through the blanketing smoke to safely escape from the enveloping blaze.”
No one suffered serious injuries, but the mother, child and some officers were treated at an area hospital for minor burns and smoke inhalation. The home was destroyed.
“Shoutout to the mom who risked it all to save her child,” Garnett police wrote in a Facebook post along with a news release about the incident Thursday. The cause of the fire was unknown as of the time of the release.