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State College Honors Officers

Several State College police personnel were honored Tuesday for their heroics in saving a woman last year who was trapped in a fast-moving house fire.

Bodycam footage captured what State College police officers saw when they were called to the house fire last March.

“I don’t know what I was thinking,” said State College Police Officer Dean Woodring. “It was just a reaction. It’s part of the job. I knew what to do and did it.”

All Woodring knew when he ran into the garage is that there was a woman inside who couldn’t get out.

“When he opened the garage door, he was immediately thrown back by heat and smoke,He could hear the resident yelling for help.”

Woodring, first on scene, initially had to come back out he couldn’t breathe. Other State College police showed up. They all went in and eventually got the woman out alive with just moments to spare.

“As they were dragging her out, officers heard the roof collapse,” said Cantorna. “There was a small explosion from an oxygen tank inside.”

The rescue took several minutes.

“Yeah, they said it was a couple of minutes for the rescue,” said Woodring. “It seemed like an eternity.”

Woodring, along with State College police Lt. Barret Smith, Officer Larry Crawford and Officer Ben Capozzi all honored with a Centre County Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award.

“It’s easy at times for us in law enforcement to believe we’re not appreciated,” said State College Police Chief John Gardner. “Critical incidents such as this fire scene serve as a remined that we are needed and appreciated.”

For Woodring, he’s had no second thoughts about his self-sacrifice.

“That’s my first burning building for sure,” Woodring said. “An experience I won’t forget, but if I had to do it again, I’d do it again.”

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