Police release bodycam footage of rescue from burning home
A Minneapolis couple is alive and regrouping after fire destroyed their home on the banks of Lake Bde Maka Ska, and the fact they have a second chance is likely due to the actions of two police officers who helped them escape safely.
On Wednesday, the Minneapolis Police Department released body camera footage that captures Officers Zachery Randall and Jamal Mitchell entering the home on the 3400 block of East Bde Maka Ska Parkway just before 9 a.m. Tuesday. Multiple smoke detectors can be heard beeping as Randall calls out.
"Is anyone in here... police, anyone in here calls out," he shouts. "Send me EMS, we have someone upstairs calling for help," he radios to dispatchers.
Smoke is visible and beginning to gather as officer Randall climbs the stairs to the second floor. Suddenly, an elderly female resident can be seen walking towards the officer.
"I don't have any shoes," she says, clearly still in her pajamas. "That's OK, get out," Randall replies. "Are you alone, maam?"
"No, my husband is right behind me," she answers.
The male resident appears, also still dressed in his pajamas and bathrobe. Both residents are moving tentatively, slowly, and officer Randall urges them to hurry. "Come on guys, we gotta get out, the house is on fire." As the couple walks out the front door, the officer grabs a pair of shoes that is by the door. Officer Mitchell is outside waiting to help the residents to safety.
It wasn't long before the entire home was being swallowed by flames. Minneapolis fire crews arrived at the scene and were forced to take a defensive stance due to the size of the fire and intense flames.
"We’re not trained to run into fires, but being in the field of policing it’s a potential," said officer Mitchell, in his third official day on the job when the rescue occurred. "We’re here to serve our community, and we’re often first on scene.”
"The reality is, is that there are cops here in Minneapolis every day that do things that are extraordinary as well, and they’ll never get news coverage or anything like this,” Randall added, refusing to be hailed as a hero. "We responded to a 9-1-1 call, and we were just able to help out.”
Police officials talked about the fire Wednesday morning, and shared that it is being investigated as a possible case of arson. The structure is just off a heavily-used trail, and a witness told investigators they saw someone throw something at the house shortly before the fire was reported.
The home is considered a total loss.