Perryville police officers save woman from fire

“This was one of the finest examples of dedication to public safety that I can think of,” Jones said.
Perryville Police Officers save woman from burning apartment
Published: Jul. 5, 2022 at 5:57 PM CDT
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PERRYVILLE, Mo. (KFVS) - Perryville police and fire were dispatched to Creekwood Apartments Sunday night at around 11 p.m., when one of the apartment units was engulfed in flames.

A police officer, Sergeant Garrett Schott, was the first to arrive to the scene.

“Sergeant Schott went into the structure because people met him and told him there was definitely someone in there,” Assistant Fire Chief William Jones said.

Sgt. Schott had no fire gear, but without hesitation he entered the apartment. By the time he got inside, the smoke had already filled up the apartment. He had to crawl on the floor and use his hands to feel around for the woman inside.

“He had to crawl back out,” Jones said. “He took another deep breath and went back inside.”

When he went back in he was able to find the woman, who was unconscious.

Officer Jeremy Tenney entered the apartment with Schott to help him pull her out of the burning building. Once they got her out, Officer Stephanie Rumsey, who was also on the scene, jumped in to help.

The three officers began trying to resuscitate the woman. She was airlifted to a hospital in St. Louis.

“This was one of the finest examples of dedication to public safety that I can think of,” Jones said.

Both Sgt. Schott and officer Tenney were taken by ambulance to a hospital for smoke inhalation. One of the firefighters, Brian Bodendieck, was also taken to the hospital. They were treated and released.

The community is calling them heroes, but Jones said putting others’ safety above their own is part of their job.

“Officers are dedicated to this job,” Jones said. “Officers are willing to make a sacrifice when they see that it benefits the people that we serve.”

The firefighters at the scene were able to limit the damage to just the one apartment.

Jones said that their quick action kept more people from getting hurt.

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