MILWAUKEE -- Milwaukee police officers from District Four are being praised for risking their own lives to rescue two teenagers from a burning vehicle on the city's northwest side. It was all caught on camera.
You could say they were in the right place at the right time.
"We're the Nick Squad," Officer Nicholas Schlei said.
Officer Schlei and Officer Nicholas Reid were in a squad car, patrolling in the area near 55th and Villard around 7:30 p.m. on December 26th when they saw a 1999 Pontiac Grand Am strike a utility pole and burst into flames.
"Obviously, it's a shock to anyone," Officer Reid said. "Immediately, we knew the car was on fire."
Without any hesitation, Officer Schlei and Officer Reid raced toward the car.
"This was one of the worst vehicle accidents I've witnessed," Officer Schlei said.
Body cameras were recording as Officer Schlei, Officer Reid and other officers from District Four risked their own lives to pull the driver, a 16-year-old Milwaukee boy, and another teen boy from the vehicle. A third teen boy who was in the vehicle was located nearby. He was able to get out on his own -- pushing out a window with his feet.
All three victims were transported to a hospital for treatment of injuries.
The driver of the vehicle will be cited for failure to yield and reckless driving.
Traniqua Colon took photos from her front door, seconds after everyone was rescued, and the flames grew higher.
"He was breaking open the driver's side window. He was pulling out a guy. That takes a huge amount of bravery," Colon said.
The officers said none of the victims remember anything about the crash. They're alive thanks to these officers.
"To help save someone, there's no better feeling. Every officer at MPD and across the country, they would do the same thing. That's why we joined and that's why we are cops," Officer Reid said.
Officers Schlei and Reid will be nominated for a MPD Merit Award for their heroic acts. A spokesman for the department said MPD is grateful for their service.