Barberton: Police officer injured in house fire

BARBERTON -- A Barberton police officer is being called a hero after he pulled a woman out of a burning house.

The fire at the house on 3rd Street NW started around 7 a.m. Thursday.

Police won't say who the officer is, but firefighters are grateful for all he did.

The heat of the fire was so intense, it continued smoldering a few hours after it started.

From the first floor it spread to the second and then to the third.

"It's very stressful. You have to make a lot of split second decisions that can really determine to outcome of the whole incident," said fire Chief Kim Baldwin with the Barberton Fire Dept.

Even before the fire department arrived, an unnamed Barberton police officer showed up and rushed inside the house.

As he was trying to pull a woman out, an explosion threw both of them out of the house and onto the driveway.

"Fortunately for the resident he was here first and was able to pull her out, otherwise it would have been a much more tragic situation," said Baldwin.

To make matters worse, the closest hydrant was frozen - sending firefighters down the street in search of water.

The delay didn't stop them from rescuing three more tenants, including a baby from the top floor.

Despite all the obstacles, Chief Baldwin is grateful that the officer arrived when he did.

"I believe he was pretty heroic in his actions."

Police say the officer is home recovering. He suffered cuts and a concussion.

Investigators are still trying to find the cause of the fire.


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