MILLERSVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — What could’ve been a Christmas Eve nightmare for one Millersville woman was saved by two men who are used to protecting people, but not from fires.
After receiving a call from dispatch that a home may be on fire on Christmas Eve, two City of Millersville police officers arrived about three or four minutes before the fire department.
However, while the homeowner was safe on her front porch when they arrived, they knew waiting for the fire department to respond could be disastrous.
“We looked at each other like, ‘hey let’s do it,'” Sgt. Christopher Austin remembered saying to fellow officer John Lassiter.
“I mean, her home would have been completely engulfed and she would be without a home for Christmas and I don’t think anyone needs that,” Austin said.
Lassiter has experience as a firefighter and had accessed the risk of waiting and going in to try and put out the burning furniture.
“If we didn’t do anything, that puts our fireman going in and that’s a chance they wouldn’t go home,” Lassiter said.
According to the police department, the two officers first saw smoke from the house’s front door and then saw “three-foot” flames from a chair in the living room. They got the chair out into the front lawn and put out other flames with a fire extinguisher from EMS.
Lassiter and Austin said they took the risk of smoke inhalation and being caught in a dangerous situation because they swore to not only serve but to protect.
“That is part of serving someone, is making sure they have a place, that they don’t lose all their belongings, she probably had pictures of her kids in there she can’t replace,” Lassiter said.
Working for the town of more than 6,000 is more than just a job to Lassiter, he sees it as keeping his home safe.
“Not only was I born and raised here,” he said. “My father was born and raised here. This is my hometown. I like to take care of it.”
Officers say the homeowner is doing well and was able to spend Christmas weekend in a hotel.
And the fact that she has her home waiting for her when she is ready to come home means the world to them.