PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A mother and her 2 daughters woke up to the sound of smoke alarms blaring early Tuesday morning.
The blaze began around 1:30 a.m. early Tuesday morning on South River Street in Newberg. When Newberg-Dundee police arrived at the burning apartment, officers attempted to enter through the front and back doors but were stopped by heavy smoke. Captain Jeff Kosmicki said his officers went around to the backside of the house, where the 2 girls were about to jump from the second story.
Then officers had the idea to pull a patrol car around to the back of the house to use as a platform.
“Officers were able to grab them as they were lowered down by their mom,” said Captain Kosmicki. “Then there was no one to lower the mom. Based on the height, it being a second story, officers quickly thought to bring a patrol car around the corner — and the mom was able to jump from the balcony onto the police car, therefore saving her life.”
Firefighters said the Newberg-Dundee officers changed the narrative of this sad story.
“In this case, they didn’t have a lot of options so they had to go with the best option they had,” said Stefan Myers of Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue. “Luckily Newberg PD were on scene to quickly help them safely get out — especially in the case of trying to get out of a second story and it not ending in injury is a great day.”
Captain Kosmicki is proud of his entire team for their quick thinking.
“This was just an example of the officers thinking outside the box, doing what they can to save lives,” he said.
The fire was determined to be caused by a baseboard heater that ignited a Christmas tree.
Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue said this is a good reminder for everyone to recycle your tree as they dry out quickly. They also advise ensuring there are no combustibles within at least 3 feet of any heating device. Firefighters also say it’s important to always know 2 ways out of your own home in case it ever catches fire.
The damage from the blaze was enough to displace the tenets. Red Cross will assist them with temporary housing and other needs.
KOIN 6 News will continue to follow this story.