LMPD officers rescue woman from roof of burning building

The officers were called to the structure fire on East Broadway near Brook Street on Sept. 9.
Published: Oct. 20, 2021 at 6:00 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - After only three weeks on the job as new Louisville Metro Police Department officers, James Mills, Daniel Kaiser, and Caleb Broughton rescued a woman trapped on a burning building’s roof.

The rescue is something even some of the most experienced police officers never see.

The officers were called to the structure fire on East Broadway near Brook Street on Sept. 9.

“(The dispatcher) said, ‘We’ve got a large fire here,’ and I was thinking, ‘Hmm, I think we better start that way,’” Mills said. “Then he said, ‘He thinks there’s someone trapped inside,’ so we all immediately looked at each other and said, ‘We’ve got to go now.”

Officers ran lights and sirens the entire way, according to Mills, and were the first to arrive on scene. It took a second for them to notice that the person trapped inside had made her way onto the roof through the flames.

“Flames pouring out of the building, there’s smoke coming from it, and she’s on the roof screaming,” Kaiser said.

“You knew if we don’t act, those flames are going to make it to the roof, and she might not make it,” Mills added.

The officers said it took a minute to convince the woman to jump from the roof to safety.

“All I do remember in the moment was how hot it was just where I was, so I can’t imagine how hot it was where she was on the roof,” Broughton said.

“You gotta jump!” officers can be heard saying in the body camera video released by LMPD.

With the roof on the verge of collapsing, the woman can be seen swinging her legs around and dangling from the roof before falling while officers stand with open arms ready to catch her.

“It was a big sigh of relief,” Kaiser said.

Broughton carried the woman to EMS crews who had just arrived with the fire department moments after officers caught her. She walked away with just an injured foot.

“We did it,” Mills said. “We did it. We were able to get her down, and she’s safe. We are all beat partners, and we like to quarterback what we do on each run and how we can do it better on the next one, and that was one where we all high fived and said, ‘That was a good job.’ I don’t think we could’ve done better.”

LMPD Officers Erik Marshall and Kenneth Allen also responded and assisted with the rescue.

Although no officers were injured, the team reported that some of their equipment melted due to the heat of the fire.

The apartment building is a total loss and currently sits empty and damaged on Broadway. The fire department is still investigating the cause.

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