Memphis Police Officers James Schmedes and Christopher Deluca went above and beyond the call of duty after they rescued three children and a dog from a burning North Memphis apartment the morning of March 3.
The hero officers are now will be nominated for Life Saving Medals and their heroic deeds may inspire some to join their department.
The apartment caught fire at around 5 a.m. on Sunday, March 3 in the 4100 block of Yellow Birch.
Shaquile Walker said he's noticed police officers on patrol in his North Memphis neighborhood, but he isn't used to them jumping into hot water.
"It's a very nice thing to hear" Walker said. "Two officers, saving kids like that."
After calling the fire department, Officers Schmedes, who joined the force in 2008, and Deluca, a year later in 2009, entered the apartment and crawled under heavy smoke and fire in the kitchen.
"It shows about their characteristic that they want to save lives help people," said Toya Jones.
One of the children then told officers that another child was in the home. Officer Deluca, 38, re-entered the apartment, crawling on the floor, and located a 7-year-old male and a dog. The boy and family pet were brought to safety by the officer.
"We expect the firefighters to save kids but two officers? That's an incredible thing," Walker added.
The officers first rescued two girls age 9 and 11, then found out a 7-year-old boy and their dog was still inside the apartment.
The officers used a fire extinguisher and pots of water to put out the fire.
It's the kind of heroic effort Walker says could ignite a new career choice.
"A police officer doing that will make me become a police officer," Walker said. "Never heard of police rescuing; no police, no fire, not here in Memphis. No way."
Initially Officers Schmedes, 36, and Deluca first responded to a suspicious persons call in the area, after a woman locked herself out of her apartment and knocked on doors for help. When officers returned the woman to her apartment, she noticed the smoke inside.
WHBQ-TV | Fox 13
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