Officers recount dramatic rescue of family from a burning building in Madison, Ind.

MPD rescues multiple children and an adult from structure fire
Published: Jul. 5, 2022 at 5:07 PM EDT
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MADISON, Ind. (WAVE) - Body cameras captured the dramatic moment when Madison, Indiana police officers rescued a family trapped in a burning building.

The only way to safety was to jump from a second-story window.

“The first thing I remember seeing or hearing was glass breaking,” Detective Shawn Scudder said. “And I knew immediately there was somebody in that apartment up there.”

“At the top of the stairs there was heavy fire, heavy fire at the front door,” Senior Patrolman Josh Nolan said. “So there was no way we could make entry into that apartment. So going out the window was the only option.”

One by one, officers caught five children ages three to 13, and a grandmother who was babysitting.

Miraculously, no one was hurt. It was a remarkable feat, considering this was a rescue officers had never trained for.

”Sometimes you go with it,” Nolan said. “And if it’s running smooth, you stick with it.”

The rescued family declined to be interviewed.

Officers praised the quick thinking of a 10-year-old who broke the window so the family could escape.

”She punched through and broke the glass out of the way,” Patrolman Nichole Midgett said. “And then she just started pulling the babies out and all the children jumped out.”

Seven Madison officers responded to the call. That number and quick response by golf cart would not have been possible late on a weekend if the officers had not already been working crowds close by for the annual Madison Regatta.

“The results could have been a lot worse,” Nolan said. “We’re just lucky that we had the right day at the right time, as many people working as we did. Things just lined up perfectly.”

“It was one of the most chaotic scenes we’ve ever been on, yet the most seamless response we’ve probably ever had,” Patrolman Phillip Wimpee said. “And I think all of us would agree with that. I can’t recall in my career ever being a part of something that worked out so smoothly.”

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