A 22-year-old Delaware police officer helped six people escape a scorching Dewey Beach house fire last weekend, which victims and officials say could have turned deadly if not for his actions.
Dewey Beach Police Officer John “Jack” Kane told WPVI he was driving on Coastal Highway while on patrol at about 3:00 a.m. Saturday when he noticed smoke in the air.
While inspecting the smoke, he observed an orange glow emanating from a structure, and after rushing to the inferno on Bayard Avenue and Swedes Street, he found four vehicles still outside of a burning home, according to WPVI. He alerted a volunteer department and sprung into action.
“With no one standing outside and no one calling 911 yet, I knew I had to act quick because people were still in the house,” Kane told WPVI.
He could not access the home from the front of the residence as the fire was so intense, so he ran to the back of the structure.
“That is when I started seeing people near the back door and that’s when I ran up and started alerting people to get out of the house as fast as possible,” Kane told WRDE.
He helped six people evacuate the residence and no one was seriously injured in the blaze that destroyed three houses, WPVI noted.
“You know when you do this job, you may have to put your life at risk sometimes to help others. I just knew I had to help them and try to make sure everyone was safely out of the house at that moment,” he said.
Rehoboth Beach Fire Chief Chuck Snyder said Kane’s efforts saved lives, according to WRDE.
Allison Diller, who made it out of the blazing fire with her pooch, told WMDT that she is unsure if anyone would have made it out if not for working fire alarms, good neighbors, and Kane’s swift actions.
“Thank you so much to Jack or Officer Kane, for helping us get out,” she said.
Steven Deery, former President of the Delaware State Fire Chiefs Association, lauded the 22-year-old in a Facebook post.
“Great Job by this Dewey Police Officer. True hero for saving the lives of 6 people prior to the FD arrival,” Deery said. “You want to see a hero, here he is! Great Job Sir.”
When Kane’s 14-hour shift came to an end, he headed home for some well-deserved rest when a call came in for an individual suffering from cardiac arrest.
“I was one street over,” he told WPVI. Kane and a state trooper simultaneously responded to the call and rendered aid to the victim, who survived.
Authorities are still investigating the cause of the fire.
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