MESA, AZ — Two kids were taken to a hospital after an apartment fire late Friday morning near US 60 and Gilbert Road after a harrowing rescue.
Mesa police say an unknown citizen helped save the two children from the burning home by jumping through a window one of the officers had broken with a rock. The man handed the two children to officers after getting them out through the window.
"Being there, seeing all the chaos, and hearing people screaming, was a very intense situation,” said Officer Brandon Ciprien, who has been with the department for six months. "Teamwork gets the job done. You can count on anyone, fire, police, or regular civilians to help you out."
Watch video of the rescue in the player below:
Officials say an officer stood on a shed in order to reach the second child during the blaze after the citizen entered the apartment.
"Property and stuff, that can burn, but somebody's life? We will risk a lot to save,” said Officer Jon Forrest, who jumped up onto the shed to grab the child from the good Samaritan. "Every other officer I work with, they'd do the same thing. They'd jump up on the shed. They are willing to do what they can to save someone's life."
Both children were taken to the hospital with officers by their sides along with paramedics and are expected to be ok. Four officers were taken to the hospital with minor injuries but have been released.
"According to all who were there, it if wasn’t for the citizen who assisted, the outcome of this incident may have been different," said Mesa police in a statement Friday. "He saw the fire from a distance, jumped a wall to the apartment complex, and ran towards the fire to help. They all agreed that he went above and beyond to assist in getting these children to safety. He put his life on the line for these children. The citizen did not want to be identified but said he only wanted to help rescue the kids if he could."
Video from the scene showed a large number of emergency vehicles and crews on the roof working to put out a fire in a unit underneath.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
No other injuries were reported.