SIKESTON, MO (KFVS) - A Missouri State Highway Patrol trooper saved a man with disabilities from a duplex fire in Sikeston, Missouri on Friday, June 17.
At around 8:21 p.m., Trooper Adam Miller said he and Sikeston police officer Benjamin Quick were patrolling in the west section of Sikeston when they overheard dispatch traffic reporting a fire at a duplex in the 300 block of Sunset Street.
Trooper Miller said when they arrived, he saw a large amount of smoke billowing out of the front windows and the front door.
"Dark smoke coming out of the windows and door seals of the front door, whenever I went around the back like I said, that door was partially open, and it was just billowing smoke coming out of it," Miller said.
Officer Quick tried contacting the residents of the duplex before talking to the residents on the left side of the duplex and told them to evacuate. He then went back to the right side and tried contacting the residents again.
According to Trooper Miller, he went to the rear of the home and noticed the door was partially open with a large amount of smoke coming from the inside.
He said he went in and tried to stay very low as he felt through the apartment. He said he then found someone sitting in a chair, so he grasped the person's arm and tried to get him out of the chair.
"I actually was feeling my way through the apartment, felt the coffee table, and a couch, and then actually grabbed a hold of his arm, not expecting anybody to be there, so I told him 'okay lets get out of here' and was pulling on him and he didn't move," Miller said.
Miller said the man was unresponsive, so he grabbed both of his arms and dragged him to the door of the duplex.
"I couldn't imagine how terrified that gentleman was not being able to move, and just had to see the room filling up with smoke," Miller said.
"I couldn't imagine that, and I wouldn't want to be left in that situation either, so that's why I went in to make sure no one was in there and just happened that somebody was."
He then yelled for Officer Quick to help as he got outside.
He said was inside the smoke-filled home for no more than five minutes.
Miller was taken to a Cape Girardeau hospital and treated for smoke inhalation as a precaution.
A sergeant with the Sikeston Department of Public Safety, Ryan Smith, also gave a statement on what happened that night.
According to Sgt. Smith, Officer Quick was able to talk to the woman in the duplex at her front door. He said the woman appeared to be disoriented when she opened the door.
After opening the door, heavy smoke escaped the duplex. Officer Quick pulled the woman from the home because she appeared to not comprehend that her home was on fire.
Sgt. Smith said the woman was able to tell Officer Quick that her son was inside the smoke-filled home, in a chair in the living room and that he had physical and mental disabilities.
Smith said when he arrived, Trooper Miller was pulling the man from a chair and toward the front door. He said he and Officer Quick helped pull the man out of the home and onto the sidewalk, where he was treated by EMS and then taken to a hospital due to prolonged smoke exposure.
Firefighting may not fall into Miller's regular job description, but on this day, he's glad to have saved a life.
"Proud to have done it, I would do it again, it worked out cause 9 times out of 10 you know, you would have went in and somebody wouldn't be in there and it would have been empty, but this time somebody was in there, obviously couldn't get out on his own will, or power, couldn't yell for help, so I'm very glad I went in," Miller said.
According to Sgt. Smith, the smoke was determined to be caused by a fire or dry cooking at the stove.
"It's kind of rare for the highway patrol to respond to a house fire," Miller said.
The Fire Division personnel handled it and the home was vented.