Dash cam video shows officers' heroism
Tue, 26 Mar 2013 21:45:16 GMT —
Police dash cam video of the Windsor Green fire, released by Horry County police Tuesday, shows how amazing it was that no one died.
Three of the first officers on the scene had to be treated for smoke inhalation, and as you watch the video, you understand why.
26 buildings were destroyed in the fire, 189 people left homeless, but no one was killed... thanks in large part to the heroics of officers Keith Massey and Joseph Manjarrez.
Lance Corporal Massey arrived on scene at 5:28 p.m. on March 16. As flames consumed trees behind the Windsor Green condos, he went door to door, helping residents get out.
As you can hear on the video above, within seconds, he's faced with a potentially deadly situation.
"I got a family trapped. I can't get 'em out. The fire is taking me over," you can hear him say over his police radio.
We later learn, a woman's grandfather was trapped on the third floor. Two agonizing minutes go by, and then...
"I got him out, I got him out!"
But soon, heavy flames keep Massey from from reaching other buildings.
Nearby, Private Joseph Manjarrez pleads with residents to get out. Many follow his instructions, but others are worried about their pets.
"Ma'am, right now your cat is not our concern," we hear Manjarrez say in the video. "You need to leave."
Later, coughing and gasping from heavy smoke, you can hear Manjarrez help a woman and her dogs get out safely, though it takes an effort.
At one point, Manjarrez has taken in too much smoke and moved his car away from the fire, where he talks to a man who managed to get out safely with his wife.
"I feel sorry for your house that you're gonna lose it," he's heard saying. "But the important thing is that you're safe and she's safe."
Officer Christopher Cestare was also treated for smoke inhalation.
What you saw was just a few minutes of the more than 20 hours of dash cam video we got from police.
You can see more of it here.