Two Phoenix police officers were in the right place at the right time when they heard the call for an apartment fire in South Phoenix.
Initial reports into fire dispatchers was that there was an apartment unit on fire near Southern and Montezuma with possibly one person trapped or having jumped, according to Phoenix Fire Public Information Officer Reda Riddle-Bigler.
Before fire crews arrived, Phoenix Police Sgt. Seitter and Officer Wilson each pulled into the apartment complex and saw smoke pouring out of an apartment window on the second floor and a unconscious man leaning out of the it, she said.
"I knew we had to do something right now," said Seitter.
Officer Wilson pulled the Tahoe under the apartment window and Sgt. Seitter climbed on top of it to secure the man until Phoenix Fire crews were able to arrive with a ladder truck, which arrived about 2-3 minutes later.
"I was able to get him propped over my shoulder and I was holding onto the framing of the window for three minutes or so until the Fire Department arrived with the ladder," he said.
Riddle-Bigler called it an "absolute life-saving move" by the officers.
"It's not usually the fire that kills people, it's the smoke inhalation," she said.
The 56-year-old man awoke after being removed from the smoke and into the fresh air. He was awake and talking when transported to the hospital, said Phoenix Fire. He is listed in stable condition.
Authorities do not yet know what caused the fire, but fire investigators are on scene. The fire did not spread to other units and was taken under control.