HOLLISTER—Two Hollister police officers, Carlos Rodriguez and Ken Anderson, used their training and quick thinking to save the lives of three children from an early morning fire that engulfed a small apartment on Valley View Road on Friday.
While investigating another incident, Officer Rodriguez noticed a substantial amount of smoke coming from an apartment across from their location. Officer Rodriguez notified Hollister Fire Department that he was in need of their assistance.
While the fire department was en route ,both officers Rodriguez and Anderson ran to the upstairs apartment. Officer Rodriguez was met outside the apartment by a frantic 10-year-old, who told Officer Rodriguez that his younger brother and sister were still in the apartment.
Officer Rodriguez entered the apartment and quickly saw that it was filling up with smoke. He noticed a 2-year-old child, still in his pajamas, standing in the living room staring at the fire. As Officer Rodriguez picked up the child, he spotted another 5-year-old girl asleep on the couch. He quickly woke her up and all three escaped the burning apartment unharmed.
Officer Anderson went into the apartment and saw that flames were quickly spreading from the stove to the ceiling. He went to the neighboring apartment and evacuated them safely. Then he went back into the burning apartment armed with a fire extinguisher and extinguished the fire.
The Hollister Fire Department and Cal-fire arrived and put of the remaining smothering fire. An investigation revealed that the children were left unattended by their mother who had left the stove on while she went to the store.
“Our first objective was to get the kids out and safe,” Hollister Police Captain Dave Westrick said. This case was forwarded to the District Attorney’s Office for review.
Hollister Police and Fire would like to remind everyone about the dangers of leaving children unattended. If it had not been for the quick actions of the response of the officers this incident could have had a tragic outcome.
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