In August 2012, six police officers responded to a fire in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and rescued three residents from a smoke-filled house. Cambridge police officer Nicholas Mochi said, “You’re coughing in there. You can taste the metal, the soot in your mouth. You can feel the burning in your lungs.” Another police officer said, “We were actually updated by our dispatch that there were multiple people trapped inside, and we could also see people hanging out of the third-story windows screaming.” Officer Mochi said, “It just so happened just by luck when I went in there I grabbed blindly. I felt something, I grabbed a woman, I grabbed her upper shoulder and just pulled.” In the second story of the house, officers Frank Lange and Steven Murphy found a sleeping resident. Officer Lange said, “We opened the door, and he was actually sleeping on the floor. We yelled at him. I think we scared him and he jumped up and we told him to get out. He kind of just stood there looking at us.” Officer Murphy said, “He was very disoriented. He didn’t know what was going on. I think he was very shocked to see us.” Resident Peter Moulthorp said, “You could see three-foot flames through the windows. The porch was just up in flames. And since three this morning, we’ve basically watched it jump from porch to porch to roof. And it just cleared the whole top floor.” Police Commissioner Peter Haas pointed out that the officers were not wearing protective gear for combating fires; instead, they were wearing their regular cloth uniforms: “They really put themselves in harm’s way. They were really heroic and put aside their own safety to save the three people that were in that house.” Resident Brendan Burns said, “It’s just incredibly kind and very, very thoughtful. And they don’t have to do this. They put their lives in danger going back in there. You can see they’re still putting water into the building.”
For More Information: Dan Hausle, “Heroic officers recount ‘intense’ Cambridge fire.” WHDH (Boston, Massachusetts). 23 August 2012 <http://www1.whdh.com/news/articles/local/boston/12008341080762/heroic-officers-tecount-intense-cambridge-fire/>.