RUSH COUNTY, Ind. — Sheriff’s deputies are not trained to save people from a burning building, but they are trained to think on their feet, which is what several deputies did in Rush County last week.
The call about a house fire went out a little before 10:00 a.m. last Wednesday. The house was along County Road 700 East in a rural part of Rush County.
“I’ve got to get there, that’s the only thing that crossed my mind,” said Sgt. Douglas Keith with the Rush County Sheriff’s Office. Keith was two miles away from the fire when the call crackled over his radio.
He got there to find a man standing outside the house who had gotten out. He told Keith his 92-year-old mother was trapped inside. With no time to wait for the township’s volunteer fire department, Keith and another man who was in the area at the time, ran into the building.
“Being in there roughly two-to-three minutes alone the smoke was getting hotter and hotter,” Keith described. “I didn’t know if I had flames on me or if it was just the smoke. But every time I went over to the window I had to gasp for air.”
Soon more deputies arrived and helped in the search for the woman inside. The found her and pulled her out, unconscious. The used a respirator they had recently been trained to use on her until a Lifeline helicopter could get there and airlift her to Indy. She’s expected to recover.
“I can’t even put into words how proud I am of them,” said Sheriff Allan Rice.
No one else was injured and the cause of the fire is still being looked into.
WISH-TV’s Eric Feldman contributed to this article