By Derrick Blakley

(CBS) –– They’re trained for fighting criminals, not fire rescue. But when Berwyn police arrived at a burning building before firefighters did, they risked their lives to save a trapped resident.

CBS 2’s Derrick Blakley talked with the police heroes.

When the first cop arrived Wednesday morning, glass was already breaking, and the flames were leaping from windows of a building on South Maple.

“Once I knew somebody was in there and needed help, I just tried to do the best I could,” Officer Juan Macias says.

Residents fleeing the flames told Macias a woman was inside, trapped. When other officers ran in, they heard her.

“I could hear a woman crying for help,” Officer Robert Gordon says.

Working without oxygen masks, they fought off the thick smoke. Using their feet and fists, they broke down the door.

“Once the door was open, we could see her lying on the ground. She was very faintly crying for help, saying, ‘Get me out of here,’” Officer Ross Failla says.

The victim, in her 40’s, was taken to Loyola Medical Center, where she was treated for smoke inhalation and burns.

One officer suffered burned hands, and all four were treated for smoke inhalation. On Thursday, they were congratulated by their colleagues, for thinking first about those they serve, instead of themselves.

The woman rescued in the fire is listed in serious condition.