VIDEO: Wickliffe and Willowick police officers pull elderly man from burning home

Posted: 5:41 PM, Jan 16, 2018
Updated: 2018-01-16 22:41:36Z

A mobile home in Willowick went up in flames with an elderly man still inside, crying out for help.

Before fire crews arrived, Wickcliffe and Willowick Police jumped into action. Watch the video above to see police dash cam and body cam footage.

At around 4:30 a.m. on Friday, Officer Kevin Ankuda with Wickcliffe police was first to arrive at the trailer on Euclid Ave. in Willowick. He was soon joined by four other officers.

The officers tried to break through different entry points, before trying the window.

“Window was tiny. There were no other entry points for the trailer, so we used ASP's, which are basically small batons,” said Officer Ankuda, Wickcliffe Police.

Officer Kristen Fitch said they were able to break through the tiny bathroom window, then the surrounding wall.

“We thought we were going to lose him. I mean I thought he was going to die in front of us. That's what was going through our minds,” said Officer Fitch, Wickcliffe Police.

Police were able to safely pull out the 75-year-old man through the hole they made in the wall. In the body cam video, you can hear the officers call out, “Pull your arms through, pull your arms through!”

The first question they asked him, once he was out, “Are you the only one in there?"

The elderly man was the only person inside and made it out with no injuries. The officers got him out in less than five minutes, but they told News 5 it felt much longer.

“It felt like an eternity,” said Officer Ankuda. “It felt like a really long time.”

Now their Facebook page is filled with comments like, “Good work!” and “You are all amazing!”

The Wickliffe police also gave a shout out to Willowick police officers Keith Lawrence, Jacob Cook and Sergeant Dan Hirz, who were at the scene with them.

“Pretty much just good collaboration of teamwork,” said Officer Ankuda.

The elderly man was helped by the Red Cross, after the incident. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.