GARY, Ind. (CBS) – Three police officers in Gary, Ind., rescued nine people from a burning home on Wednesday, including six children.
“It could not be stressed enough that the selfless acts of these officers prevented a tragedy from occurring,” Gary Police Sgt. Thomas Pawlak said in a commendation letter he sent to Chief Gary O. Carter.
Cpl. Damon Bradshaw and Patrolmen Justin Hedrick and Brian Rodziewicz were on their way to a call at about 3 a.m. when they saw a house on fire at 412 Adams St.
After calling for the fire department, the officers “sprang into action” and started helping residents of the house who were trapped on the roof of the blazing two-story building.
No one was seriously hurt in the fire.
The rescued children ranged in age from 6 months to 15 years old, police said.
After all nine people were safe, the officers provided fire victims with their coats. Pawlak said some of the children were wearing shorts or no clothing at all. Police placed family members in their squad cars to stay warm until medics arrived to evaluate the occupants of the house.
The Gary Fire Department was unable to provide any information about the fire, saying its investigator would not be available until Friday. Names of all occupants were unavailable.
Lake County property tax records show the home is owned by Anthony Williams, a Miller resident, who did not return messages left by the Post-Tribune seeking comment on the tenants.
Police records show Coretta Miller called 911 to report the fire at her home.
Miller and her mother, Nicole Booker, were charged with arson in 2008 after their rental home in Glen Park was apparently set on fire shortly after they were notified of a pending eviction.
Those charges were dropped when the state’s primary witness refused to repeat her testimony in court.
Gary police arson detective Sgt. Mark Salazar said the Adams Street blaze is now being investigated. He declined to comment further on the case.