MINER, MO (KFVS) - First responders are sharing what it was like to fight a fire at a hotel in Miner, Missouri.
Jeremey Gardner was the first officer on scene. Without hesitation he ran straight inside to make sure everyone got out safe.
“It takes a special kind of person to do that,” Miner Police Chief Chris Griggs said. “Most people run away from fire.”
Griggs shared video from Gardner’s body camera that captured what it was like to go inside the burning building.
“He was the last one to enter the building before it was really involved in fire,” Griggs said. “His mission at that point was to ensure everyone was out and everyone is safe.”
Griggs says the hotel fire quickly spread to other rooms and created a lot of dense black smoke on the second floor.
“You can see in the video that when he gets halfway up to the second floor it’s terrible,” Griggs said. "He’s got a rag and he is trying to keep that rag over his face but also talk at the same time. That thick black dense smoke it forms a cab and the lower it gets to the floor, the thicker it’s going to be.”
Officer Gardner also told hotel guests to use the stairs instead of jumping out the window.
“Right at the end of the hall there is stairs. Go down the stairs. Do not worry about your stuff,” said Gardner in the video.
Chief Griggs points out that saving personal possessions from a fire is not worth risking your life.
“If you’re involved in a fire and smell smoke, you number one call 911,” Griggs said. “Then get out of the structure that you are in or whatever environment that is for your safety.”
More than 60 first responders were able to contain the fire in a few hours. Six people were hurt but none of the injuries were serious.
Chief Griggs says they got the job done because of the quick response and the teamwork from other departments.
“Time of day has a lot to do with this as well," he said. "If this would have been at 3 o clock in morning, getting that much resources here in a short amount of time it would have taken a lot longer and it could have been a whole lot more tragic than it already it already is.”
Chief Griggs believes this incident could be accidental but the State Fire Marshall will have the final say on what caused this fire.
Their report will take a few weeks as they continue to gather evidence and interview witnesses.