WEST BEND -- A West Bend police officer is being hailed a hero -- credited for saving a man's life after a fire Wednesday night, December 28th. The fire broke out at a home on Silver Lake Road in the Town of West Bend shortly after 11:00 p.m.
West Bend Police Officer Lee Goodman was the first to arrive at the scene.
The fire was reported by one of the homeowners, who indicated that he and his 83-year-old father were inside the residence and becoming overcome by smoke. The caller said that he was awoken by the smoke detectors going off and a significant amount of smoke in the house.
Officials with the Washington County Sheriff's Office asked West Bend police to send a nearby squad car to the home.
Officer Goodman found the home fully engulfed in flames.
"Our officer, Officer Lee Goodman, found the house engulfed in flames and found a 52-year-old male subject on the back porch calling for help," West Bend Police Captain Tim Dehring said.
The man's 83-year-old father had collapsed from smoke inhalation, and was still trapped inside.
"We train on situational awareness at all times, and this was a risky situation. Officers aren`t equipped with the same equipment that firefighters are," Captain Dehring said.
Dehring said Goodman could see the 83-year-old man from the doorway, and made a split-second decision to go inside.
"The officer immediately grabbed the 83-year-old man and pulled him to safety," Captain Dehring said.
The residence was located on Silver Lake, down a steep embankment off of Silver Lake Drive.
Officer Goodman was able to get the homeowners into their personal tram and get them to the roadway.
"That lot line, they have no access, so the fire trucks came through our property to do it, which is fine," Dave Nigbor, a neighbor said. "You don't want anybody getting hurt in a fire like that."
"We are extremely proud of our officer today, proud of his bravery while doing his job and also we're extremely happy that there's a father and son who will be spending New Year's together," said Captain Tim Dehring, West Bend Police Department.
The 83-year-old Town of West Bend man was transported to St Joseph’s Hospital by West Bend Rescue for smoke inhalation as well as burn-related injuries. The other homeowner was transported as well for smoke inhalation.
The officer was also treated at the hospital for smoke inhalation.
The injuries are non-life threatening.
The house and its contents are considered a total loss.
The fire remains under investigation by the West Bend Fire Department and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.