LISLE, Ill. — People in west suburban Lisle are praising the courageous actions of a police officer who witnesses say rushed into a burning apartment building to save a teen’s life Tuesday night.
Officer Bill Wise was first on the scene of a fire inside a multi-family building on the 2700 block of Wayfaring Lane around 10:30 p.m. Tuesday.
“I got out of my squad car, people were telling me there was a kid trapped in the basement,” Wise said. “I sprinted up to the house… I could hear the kid yelling for help.”
Wise’s first attempt to reach the trapped teen fell short as he knocked on the front door and was met by flames and smoke.
“I could see the kid’s hand and arms poking out of the window well,” Wise said. “He was extremely composed. Obviously, he was frightened, he was able to yell clear enough to help me get to him.”
As the 14-year-old was trapped by an air conditioning unit in the basement, Wise unsuccessfully tried to break through a heavy window cover to get in.
“But I was able to lift it up high enough so the kid could wiggle his way out of the window well,” Wise said.
After strength and quick reactions helped free the trapped teen, he carried the 14-year-old to a waiting ambulance. Neighbors who watched it all say the officer is a bona fide hero.
“I really know he saved this boy’s life,” neighbor Evelina Kaunietyte said.
The officer and the boy were both taken to a local hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation, but both are expected to be OK.
An investigation to determine the cause of the fire is ongoing.