“If it wasn’t for the efforts of the police department, we would probably be dealing with a fatal fire no questions asked.”
That is what Steve Bair, the Centre Region Fire Director said on March 18th the day of the blaze.
And now on April 5th those 5 State College police officers and one public works employee received recognition for their life saving efforts.
“Lt. Barrett Smith, Officer Larry Crawford, Officer Cameron Earnest, Officer Dean Woodring, Officer Benjamin Capozzi, and Jonathan McClure. The actions of these employees reflect the highest degree of courage in the face of danger distinguishing their actions and self sacrifice as being above and beyond the call of duty.”
They arrived on scene to the house fully engulfed in flames and made the quick decision to enter.
“The caregiver frantically told Woodring there was still someone in the house, Officer Woodring entered the open garage filled with heavy smoke. Upon located the victim he attempted to have her grab onto her walker so he could then get her out of the house, the victim was unable to hold on to the walker as he tried to pull her. He radioed for additional officers to assist him.”
Officials ruled the fire as an accident, but without the bravery from borough employees they agree there would have been a different outcome that.
“At the sidewalk the group and the victim are still inside a heavy smoke cloud. Body camera footage from each Officer shows each of the officers in heavy distress from fire exposure.”
Afterwards they were all transported to Mount Nittany Medical Center with for smoke inhalation and fire exposure.
“Lt. Smith, Officer Crawford, Officer Earnest, Officer Woodring, Officer Capozzi, and Jon McClure exhibited the highest degree of bravery placing there own lives at risk to save the life of another.”