MONROE, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) - Two officers on patrol rescued three children and two women from a burning house in the early hours of Tuesday morning in Monroe, police said.
Officer Corey Helms responded to a home located on Lexington Avenue around 2:00 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 26 in reference to a structure fire.
Upon arrival, Officer Helms observed the home with heavy smoke and a woman, identified as Michelle Munoz, 27, at a second-story window with her sister and their three small children.
Munoz threw keys to the front door down to Officer Helms who attempted to enter the house, but couldn't due to the amount of smoke.
While Officer Helms was speaking with Munoz, Officer Dylan Cole also arrived on scene. The two officers attempted to enter the home through the back gate, but found that it was locked.
The two officers then attempted to use a ladder, but after trying to secure it and failing the two officers made the decision to enter the smoke-filled house.
Officer Cole entered and went up the stairs. Officer Helms followed behind and located the trapped family. Officer Cole instructed them to stay low and he grabbed one of the children. Officer Helms grabbed the smallest baby and together they all went down the stairs and escaped the burning house.
"I am extremely proud of the actions of these two officers. Their decisions to put themselves in a dangerous situation to protect and save the people in that house, truly exemplifies all that being a Police Officer stands for," said Monroe Police Chief Bryan Gilliard. "These situations are not something you come across every day and I am proud that these officers used their training and skills to potentially save five lives."
The Monroe Fire Department arrived on scene shortly after and was able to put out the fire. The cause of the fire appears to have been baby bottles left boiling on the stove.
Both Helms and Cole were sworn in as Monroe Police Officers in January 2017.