PORTLAND, Tenn. (WKRN) — A Portland family survived a house fire thanks to first responders who used a certain rescue technique that is rarely put into practice outside of training.

Crews reportedly received call around 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 31 about four people trapped in a burning home along Demase Street.

Portland Fire Chief Sam Thornton told News 2 the rescue was dramatic but effective, adding, “You train for you it, you hope you never have to use it, but this is why you train.”

In his 25 years on the job, Thornton said he has never performed the rescue that his team performed last week, describing it as hopefully a “once in a career thing.”

The operation began with a frantic 911 call from one of the family members: “Our house is on fire! There’s a fire in our hallway, and we’re trapped upstairs! Hurry! Please hurry! The room is full of smoke!”

According to officials, two teenagers managed to jump out the second-story window, but the mother and father were trapped upstairs since the hallway was blocked by flames.

On the body camera footage, you can hear the teens talking to Portland police officers as they arrived at the scene.

“Our parents are up there! There’s a fire in the hallway,” one of the teenagers said, pointing toward the second floor.

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The video shows an officer enter the home, open a door to the upstairs, and discover the flames and smoke in the upstairs hallway.

“Hey guys, the fire is upstairs where they’re at,” the officer said as he explored the house, finding at least two dogs in the room next to the upstairs door.

With no other options, members of the Portland Fire Department came up with a lifesaving plan involving two ladders and multiple firefighters climbing to the second-story window about 15 feet high. First responders cradled the woman as they brought her down, and then they repeated the maneuver to bring the man down.

“I’ve never had to bring somebody down a ladder,” Thornton said. “We’ve brought them down the steps, but never down the ladder.”

The chief told News 2 time was of the essence, not only to rescue the people inside the house, but also the animals, as seen in the bodycam footage of a firefighter carrying down a dog from the second floor.

According to members of the fire department, all of the dogs and all but one of the cats in the home are expected to live, but some ducks died in the blaze.

Emergency officials at the scene told News 2 that Sumner County EMS brought the mother and teens to a local hospital while the father was flown to Vanderbilt University Medical Center for further evaluation after he experienced what appeared to be significant smoke inhalation.

As of this writing, all four family members have reportedly been released from the hospitals and are receiving assistance from the Red Cross.

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According to Thornton, this rescue was a big deal based on the fire department’s manpower per shift, and thanks to teamwork and training, everything worked out for the best.

“Super proud of these guys right here for sure, very proud of the guys that are in there,” Thornton said as he pointed at the firefighters on the bodycam footage, “and I’m going to give a shout out to our brothers and sisters in blue there. They helped out a lot that day.”

Even though the cause of the fire is still under investigation, officials said it is not considered suspicious.