Body cam captures Bastrop Officers rescuing woman from apartment fire

Incredible video from the Bastrop Police Department captured the moment two of their officers rescued a woman and her dog from a burning apartment. The video was recorded by new body cameras that officers had only been wearing for a couple weeks.


Officer Charles Sanford works for the Bastrop Police Department and was the first on scene of the apartment fire that broke out January 5th, "I get a call about a fire from dispatch and they let me know that a woman was trapped inside and she could see flames. Everyone's like, there's a lady in the building and I am like okay, I am getting there."

Officer Sanford said he had been to that complex before so he knew the woman struggling to get out of the burning apartment. He said he knew she just had surgery and was using a walker. "I go up to the window and I can just see smoke, it was extremely hot, so I was just telling the female come to me."
Not only was the woman still in the apartment, so was a dog. "I seen the dog was in there, so I got the dog, picked up the dog, put it in the yard." Sanford said the heat and smoke were quickly taking over the apartment and the woman was still inside, "I was really concerned cause I couldn't see her, and everytime I tried to get in there, it was just overwhelming with the smoke, I couldn't breathe, so I was like 'Oh man how are we going to get to her?'"

Bastrop Police Corporal Christopher Chavez arrived on scene within minutes of the call to assist Officer Sanford. "I don't think she could see. I couldn't see anything, and I was that far away from the window and that's how thick the smoke was, I just don't think she could really see anything." Corporal Chavez said there was no hesitation as he climbed through the window, "At this point, I was like I got to get in there and get this woman out. Everything is going 100 miles per hour at 90 miles a minute, you just jump into action, you don't even really think about it. You just know what you got to do and that's preserve life and save people, and do what you need to do, and that's what we did."

"In the end, I'm not a hero; it's just another day at work for me. I enjoy my job. My grandparents always told me, if you enjoy your job, you'll never work a day in your life, and I kind of live by that, this is what I want to do for the rest of my life," Sanford said.

Bastrop Fire Chief Mark Wobus said the cause of the fire was accidental, the woman fell asleep smoking and her chair started on fire. He also said the woman ended up in the San Antonio Burn Unit for several days to be treated for minor burns and respiratory issues, but she has since been released and is okay.

Officers Chavez and Sanford both received the "Life Saving Award" which they were presented with at a city council meeting.