Indy officers rescue man from burning home

Photo courtesy WISH-TV

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — An Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officer pulled a man from a burning home early Thursday morning.

IMPD officials say three officers were on scene at the time, and helped to rescue the man.

It happened on the city’s west side, on Vermont Street just west of Holt Road. Wayne Township Fire officials said the fire started around 2 a.m.

Three officers were said to arrive at the fire before the fire department were Officer Gary Hadden, a 16-year veteran, Officer Brian Thorla, a 10-year veteran, and Southwest District Officer Grady “Skip” Copeland, an 11-year veteran.

Our partners at WISH-TV spoke with Officer Hadden, who said when he arrived on scene, he saw flames coming out the windows and the front door, and he could hear a man screaming for help.

“When I got here, one officer went to the rear of the house, he thought the screaming was from there, and as I got closer to the front door, I could hear him yelling from the front half of the house,” said IMPD Officer Gary Hadden.

“I just got my flashlight and went in. I couldn’t see anything. There was a lot of smoke inside. He [the victim inside] said, ‘I see your light. Just follow my voice.’ So I followed him, and found him on the floor in the front room,” Hadden said. “I picked him up and carried him out so he could be treated.”

According to reports, debris fell on Hadden’s neck and back while the fire made it impossible to find the exit. Believing that Hadden wouldn’t be able to find a way out, Officer Copeland ran inside the building and helped to guide both Hadden and the injured man to safety.

Wayne Township Fire Officials say the man the IMPD pulled from the burning home is 25-years-old. He was transported in serious condition to a local hospital. Officers Hadden, Thorla and Copeland were checked out at the scene and are okay.

Hadden added that, “when somebody’s yelling for help, it’s hard to ignore it, and you want to get in there and help somebody out. I was just in the right place at the right time, that’s all.”

Fire officials say the man lived in the home with his mother and two dogs. His mother was not home when the fire broke out, and the two dogs survived the fire.

Officials say the cause of the blaze is still under investigation.


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