Anderson police officer rescues woman from burning home

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ANDERSON, Ind.- An Anderson police officer is credited with saving a woman’s life after pulling her out of a burning home.

Around 9 o’clock Sunday night, Officer Joe Todd was on his way to an accident when another officer noticed another emergency.

“When I looked out my driver’s side window, I could see the front part of the house, through the window was catching on fire,” said Officer Joe Todd, with the Anderson Police Department.

Officer Todd rushed up to the home and saw a woman standing on the front porch.

“The first thing I said to her was, ‘Your house is on fire you need to get away from the house, is there anyone else in the house?’” Todd recalled.

Todd says the 59-year-old woman was distraught and didn’t answer him. Instead for whatever reason, she took off and went back into the burning home.  

“She went through the front door I went in right behind her,” he explained.

Officer Todd grabbed her and pulled her out of the house. When other first responders showed up, they realized no one else was inside.

“That was my first thought, get people out before it gets to where we can’t,” said Officer Todd.

The woman suffered minor burns on her hands.

“I don’t know how else to describe it other than thankful, lucky and blessed all in one, right place at the right time, sometimes you get that,” said Todd.

Sunday’s fire wasn’t the first time Officer Todd had rescued someone from a house fire.  The first time was a couple years ago. No one was seriously hurt in either fire.

“I could not go in the front door of the first one because it was completely engulfed, so I shattered a window and dragged a couple (people) out of the side window,” recalled the officer.

So far, Todd has had two fire rescues during his five years with the Anderson Police Department.

“You don’t think about it, at the time it’s just reaction do what you got to do” said Officer Todd.

The day after the fire, Todd received a phone call from the victim’s dad.

“He said ‘I just wanted to call and say thank you, you saved my daughter’s life.’ He thanked me and that was the end of it,” said Officer Todd.

Todd didn’t need a thank you but admits those two words left a mark.

“When someone does thank you, especially today, it means little something,” he said.  

Investigators believe the fire was accidental. The home is a total loss.

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