Heroes: Deputies rescued residents from burning homes in mobile home park before fire crews arrive


ADAMS COUNTY, CO – According to reports, two local sheriff’s deputies are being credited with helping save several lives while a fire was ongoing at a mobile home park in Adams County – prior to even fire crews arriving on the scene. 

Even officials from the local fire rescue team are extending accolades to the quick efforts enacted by the deputies. 

On February 21st at approximately 5:00 a.m., a call came in about a structure fire that was ongoing at a mobile home park located on North Federal Boulevard and West 55th Avenue.

Adams County Sheriff’s Deputies Elijah Roman and Aaron Derycke happened to both be on patrol that morning and were relatively close to where the incident was ongoing. 

Deputy Derycke recollected on the matter, explaining that once they’d heard that the incident was a structure fire, they’d decided to rush over to the scene: 

“When they say ‘structure fire,’ usually it’s not a good thing. We came as fast as we could.”

Deputy Roman had arrived on the scene first, as the two deputies were separately patrolling earlier, and stated that he was immediately informed by witnesses that there were people trapped inside one of the homes:

“I was being flagged down by someone letting me know there’s still people inside the structure. It still looked like there was an opportunity for me to go in there before it completely burned down.”

When Deputy Roman entered the home, he’d eventually found that there was a woman still sleeping in the home as it was burning: 

“The lady was sleeping in her bed in the very back of the trailer. I crawled to the back because the fire and the smoke were really heavy. So, I was kind of feeling around. I got back to her and was able to get her out from there as quick as I could.”

Not long thereafter, Deputy Derycke had arrived on the scene. 

When Deputy Derycke had seen Deputy Roman in action and working to help those still inside the burning homes, he stated he too went straight into action: 

“When I saw him running out and coughing as much as he was, that’s when it kicked in. I wasn’t thinking…If my partner’s doing it, I’m doing it.”

Following suit, Deputy Derycke had started helping people out of their homes.

Adams County Fire Rescue had arrived on the scene minutes afterward, with ACFR Lt. Joe Anderson II saying that by the time they’d arrived, the fire was already to a point where the structures couldn’t be entered: 

“We actually attempted to do a primary search in the first trailer. As soon as we opened up the door, one of the firefighters was on his knees fixing to go in, and the fire rolled down on top of his head. I actually had to pull that firefighter back out.”

The fire crews then redirected their focus to getting the fire contained – as four homes had already been destroyed and power lines were taken down. 

But what was further complicating this fire was the fact that the outside temperatures were -7 degrees, according to ACFR Lt. Anderson: 

“As soon as we got wet, everything froze up. My body froze up, my mask froze up, and that’s what made it difficult. It was the most severe weather conditions we’ve ever had to deal with.”

The fire was eventually quelled by 6:15 a.m. that morning.

ACFR Lt. Anderson said that the efforts of the two deputies helped his crew to maintain their focus on mitigating the spread and damage from the fire: 

“Knowing that the deputies were here first and that they were able to pull those people out, that helped us concentrate on the rest of the mobile home park and save everything else here.”

While four people were treated at a nearby hospital for smoke inhalation, there were zero reported fatalities from the incident. 

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In other recent reports relating to rescuing those in peril, a recent multi-law enforcement agency effort conducted in Missouri saw eight victims rescued from an alleged human trafficking operation. 

Here’s that previous report from earlier in February. 


SAINT JOSEPH, MO –  A successful human trafficking operation conducted by numerous law enforcement agencies in Missouri resulted in eight victims being rescued.

Six of them are adults and two are young children.

Officials reported having arrested three suspects but have not yet released the identities of the arrestees or any recovered victims.

The St. Joseph Police Department, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt and the Missouri State Highway Patrol recently shared details on the success of a multi-agency human trafficking operation that took place on February 6th at two separate truck stop locations in St. Joseph.

According to AG Schmitt’s office, these two locations where the operation was conducted were at a Bucky’s Travel Plaza and Love’s Travel Stop.

Said human trafficking operation was reportedly organized by the St. Joseph Police Department, the Buchanan County Sheriff’s Office, the Missouri State Highway Patrol and Missouri Attorney General’s Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force.

Six adult victims, only identified as five females and one male, were reportedly recovered between the two truck stop locations during the operation. Also, two children, described as a two-year-old and an infant, were also recovered.

There were reportedly 16 different agencies that assisted in the operation altogether, with AG Schmitt attributing the success of this operation due to the amazing collaboration between all of these agencies involved:

“This operation was successful because of cooperation between my Office, the St. Joseph Police Department, the state highway patrol, the Buchanan County Sheriff’s Office, and 13 other agencies and departments.”

“This unprecedented success should send clear a message to traffickers: you are not welcome in Missouri, and you can’t hide any longer.”

While only three arrests were reported as having taken place, officials say that there are currently additional arrests pending that are linked to the investigation/operation.  

Due to the active nature of this investigation, officials were unable to disclose any additional details related to the operation.

Please follow Law Enforcement Today as we gather further updates on this case as they become available.


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