OAKLAND, FL — Three Oakland Police personnel are being commended for rescuing two residents from a burning home at 527 West Gulley Ave. on Tuesday morning.
Lt. Angela Campbell was first on the scene as flames engulfed the two-story home at around 8:30 a.m. on March 15, as bystanders informed her that the residents were still inside. She saw a woman at the window trapped as the home filled with black smoke. Officer Rene Castro quickly went to the opposite side of the home with a fire extinguisher, broke a window and assisted the female victim out of the burning home. Det. Shawn Dozier broke another window and along with Lt. Campbell, physically pulled the male victim out of the window to safety.
Upon arrival, Orange County Fire Rescue Department crews immediately began putting water on the fire and the two patients were transported to ORMC for smoke inhalation. The three officers were medically checked on scene and cleared.
“Our officers’ heroism and commitment to the public we serve were on full display as the three officers, working as a team, saved the lives of two Oakland residents,” said Police Chief John Peek. “As Chief of Police, I couldn’t be prouder.”
The residents were fostering multiple cats at the time of the fire, and at least 10 perished. However, Lt. Campbell and Officer Castro, along with a neighbor, managed to save one after rushing it to a veterinarian’s office, where it is expected to recover. Cat rescue organizations remain in the area searching for surviving cats.
The State Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating the cause of the fire.