LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Two LAPD officers are being hailed as heroes for helping rescue a 90-year-old woman Sunday morning from a house fire in the Rampart division near downtown Los Angeles.
The fire was reported about 9:35 a.m. in the 1100 block of S. Westlake Avenue.
Police officers Eddie Rattanapichetkul and Anthony Farias were on patrol when they saw heavy smoke coming from the second floor of a home.
The officers — working together for the first time, no less — stopped to assist family members gathered on the front porch.
They were told that a 89-year-old woman was in the back room on the ground floor.
Edward Lawrence, reporting for CBS2 and KCAL9, says the woman — identified as Victoria Romero — has eighteen children.
The officers made their way through the smoke-filled home and led the woman to safety. She told Lawrence that she was simply watching mass on television and had no idea the room above her was on fire.
While the officers smelled smoke from several blocks away, Romero said she smelled nothing. Through a translator, she told Lawrence “I was not able to smell anything. It was not down on the bottom floor yet.”
Witnesses said that although they were told the home was empty, the officers ran back inside to make sure.
Several occupants of the home and the officers were treated at the scene for minor smoke inhalation.
The LAPD says that due to the swift action of the two officers, everyone survived and no one was seriously hurt in the blaze.
Both officers remained modest about their swift action and neither wants to be hailed a hero. Said Rattanapichetkul, “Anybody here at this division, at Rampart, would not hesitate to do it. That is what we are here for…to serve the community and that is exactly what we did today.”