Bowling Green Police Officers Reason for Lives Saved in Apartment Fire
Bowling Green, KY (WNKY-TV) - It's a situation that could have ended with injuries or even worse lives lost. The Lovers Lane apartment fire on Saturday displaced nearly 40 people, but thanks to some Bowling Green Police officers who were first on the scene, that wasn't the case.
"The last thing I want is for this story to become about me as an officer or any other officer that's on scene," says Officer Keith Young with the Bowling Green Police Department.
A typical Saturday morning patrol quickly turned heated for area first responders.
"I heard Officer Pulley get on the radio and say he was attempting to locate a large black plume of smoke in the area of Scottsville Road and Lovers Lane," says Officer Young.
Within minutes of the radio call Officer Ed Pulley found the source.
"It was an apartment that was on fire and I immediately left Walmart with Officer Vergara and ran to the scene," says Officer Young.
Officers Pulley, Vergara and Young arrived first before the fire department and without hesitation they sprung to action.
"I just got out of my cruiser and ran towards it," says Officer Young. "We just went and started going to each apartment, each room," says Officer Victor Vergara with the Bowling Green Police Department.
Knocking down doors, yelling fire, and by searching apartments more than once, the officers located many and got them to safety.
"I did find a child that was located, he was hiding in some clothing. The apartment was empty other than that and I carried him out," says Officer Young.
All the while not having any sort of fire protection gear on.
"Burn your eyes, burn my throat," says Officer Young. "The fire was spreading really fast, you could feel the heat, it gets pretty cloudy in there. I learned you can't really use a flashlight with a lot of smoke," says Officer Vergara.
The officers tell us they weren't the only ones who were on the scene doing the rescuing, but they were the only two of the dozens of first responders and 8 families sent to the hospital for smoke inhalation.
"While I was at the hospital, I was there to be cleared, but I just more concerned and hoping that everybody made it out alright, so it was a blessing to hear that," says Officer Vergara.
The officers say they can't explain why they ran into the blaze. It's just part of their job description and all first responders would've done the same.
"To be honest ma'am I just consider that my job. It's one of those things, the way I put it, I couldn't live with myself sitting there watching it knowing there's possibly people inside," says Officer Young.
"Whether it's at a school crossing or running into a building on fire, overall we are here to serve our community and I couldn't really explain to you why we did it. We just knew it needed to be done," says Officer Vergara.
"If it happened to be during the afternoon or be two days later on my day off, you'd be talking about the same thing just with a different officer," says Officer Young.