Mesa police officer honored for role in saving kids from apartment fire

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On Oct. 23, a Mesa Police officer received an award from the city's fire department following quick actions that saved two children from a burning apartment over the summer.

"The first thing I was to say to Officer [Aaron Blake] is we have openings in the fire department, if you're interested," said Mesa Fire Chief Mary Cameli. "You've already proven you can do the job."

The fire happened on July 20. It was Officer Blake's second day on the job, and he, along with his field training officer, were on the way to another call when they saw smoke nearby.

"We get on the radio and ask dispatch if there’s a fire nearby," said Officer Blake. "They said, ‘Yeah, a call is coming in right now,’ so we go and check it out."

Once Officer Blake and his training officer arrived at the scene, they heard a mother crying for help from a two-story apartment window. She and her two kids were trapped inside the burning structure.

"There really was no thought. It was just action," said Officer Blake. "I knew we needed to help. I knew we needed to get them out somehow. I wasn't sure what that was going to look like, but I knew we needed to do something."

Officer Blake quickly climbed the side of the building, and the mother lowered the kids to him. The kids were of a similar age to Officer Blake's own kids.

Everyone, thankfully, made it out of the scene.

"I don't feel like it was that spectacular, that incredible," said Officer Blake. "I honestly believe if anyone else had been first on the scene, they would have done something very similar."

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