GRESHAM, Ill. — Four Chicago police officers are credited with saving a couple from a burning home last week.
It was early morning when a fire raged through an abandoned home in Chicago’s Gresham neighborhood. Officer Phillip Bredenberg and his partner were on patrol when they smelled the fire from a couple of blocks away.
“It was about 1:45 in the morning and we both smelled something on fire,” Officer Bredenberg said. “We thought it was our car because ours are always breaking down.”
The smell stemmed from a home located in the 700 block of S. Normal Avenue, however.
Once on the scene, the officers discovered that while the home was boarded up and abandoned, flames started to land on the roof of an occupied home nearby.
“It was starting to jump the building next to it,” Officer Bredenberg said. “The sidewalk was shoveled in the back, so we assumed there was someone living in there.”
Officer Jesse Gomez and his partner soon arrived at the scene, followed by their sergeant.
“We knew if there was anyone inside, we’ve got to get them out quickly because [the fire] spreads fast,” Officer Gomez said.
Working as a team, the officers started banging on the front and back doors and shined their flashlights to get the residents’ attention. Police later learned that a man in his 20’s, who was playing videogames with his headphones on, was inside the home while his wife slept.
“He had some difficulty hearing us,” Officer Bredenberg said.
The officers were able to help the couple out, telling WGN it was just another day on the job.
“It’s not something you think about in the moment,” Officer Bredenberg said. “It’s something we signed up for as police officers.”