WAYNOKA, OK – Four people, including two firefighters, were killed in a house fire in Waynoka, Oklahoma on Friday, January 29th.
According to reports, around 3:07 a.m., the residents of 1754 Locust Street called emergency responders stating that their house was on fire and they were trapped in their bedroom.
The Oklahoma State Fire Marshal’s Office said that minutes later, the Waynoka Fire Department arrived on scene.
When two firefighters entered the home in an attempt to rescue the trapped civilians, they reported the fire blocking the bedroom door where the residents were located.
Firefighters were unable to reach the victims through the window, and around 3:24 a.m. firefighters from the Alva Fire Department responded to a call for mutual aid.
Assistant Oklahoma State Fire Marshal James Fullingim said:
“We don’t know exactly what happened,”
“One firefighter was trying to locate an exit route out of the house.”
He went on to say:
“It’s going to be a time consuming investigation, we’re going to have to go slow and it will take a while to dig through it,”
On social media, Pond Creek Fire and EMS Fire and Rescue Chaplain Les Washnock said the firefighters who died were trapped when the roof collapsed during a search for victims, Firehouse reported.
“It is with heavy heart that we mourn the loss of two volunteer firefighters from the Waynoka Fire Department,”
News 9 reported that an employee at the inn across the street from the fire saw the flames from his office.
“This is going to affect quite a few people here in town. I imagine it will be rough on the whole town right now, but, this is a strong town,”
The identities of the victims were not immediately available, but it is believed that the who firefighters were male, and the residents of the home were a male and female.
The cause of the fire is not yet known, and is still under investigation.
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Off-duty police officer kicks down door, saves family from house fire
December 10, 2020
NORTH READING, MA – An off-duty police officer with the North Reading Police Department jumped into action and did what brave first responders do, no matter what.
Sergeant Thomas Encarnacao was driving home from his swing shift at around 1:00 a.m. on December 8th when he saw flames coming from the side of a house at 30 Lowell Street.
Sgt Encarnacao radioed in his location to police and fire dispatch and ran to the front of the home. He kicked down the front door and rescued a man who was sleeping on a couch in the home’s living room.
Audio of Encarnacao’s call released by police captured the urgency of the moment:
“There are people in the house! I’m trying to wake them up!”
Donald W. Stats Jr., North Reading Fire Chief stated:
“Smoke alarms did activate and the occupant did hear it. But (the occupant) thought it was something else and basically ignored it initially — until the officer was able to reach them.”
Several other officers arrived on scene and helped Sgt Encarnacao find another man in the home’s basement. They verbally alerted the man, but couldn’t see him due to smoke. The man made his way up from the basement and out of the home.
Chief Stats said arriving firefighters saw:
“a heavy volume of fire on arrival coming from the left side of the structure that had self-vented and started to extend to the attic.”
The two residents told firefighters a 13-year-old boy was sleeping in the back bedroom. Police and firefighters were able to remove a window screen in the bedroom and pull him out through the window to safety.
Chief Stats explained that the fire crew was able to put out the fire before it damaged more of the home and attic area.
In addition to North Reading police officers and firefighters, fire crews from Wilmington assisted at the scene and the Middleton Fire Department provided station coverage.
All three residents were evaluated at the scene, but were not taken to the hospital and no firefighters were injured. One police officer cut his hand while trying to breach a basement window.
Chief Stats indicated that the scene was cleared by 3:30 a.m.
The three residents were displaced and are being helped by family members. The house sustained smoke, fire, and water damage, according to the statement. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
In a formal press conference on Tuesday, Sergeant Encarnacao told NBC 10 Boston:
“I saw the left hand side of the house was fully engulfed in flames.
I was able to bang on the door, got no response, there was quite a bit of smoke and flames coming up the side so I just decided to force entry.
I was able to get him, once he got his bearings, to come to me and exit the house.”
Encarnacao said they double checked to see if there was anyone else in the house. That’s when he said that the father realized his juvenile son was still inside the house and tried to run back inside.
Encarnacao pulled the child out of a window with the help of two other officers.
No one was hurt, and Encarnacao says he’s grateful his training prepared him for this:
“You plan for this your entire career. Especially those of us who work nights and overnights you may at four in the morning just find a house on fire.
When we finally made contact and knew people were there, we knew we had to do whatever we had to do to get them out.”
Great job, Sergeant Encarnacao!
Hero police officer adopts the little girl who he saved after finding her being abused by her caregivers
December 7, 2020
KINGMAN, AZ – A police officer with the Kingman Police Department was working midnight shift over two years ago when he responded to a wellbeing check at a home. After finding a little girl was being abused, he fell in love with her and decided to make her his daughter.
Now, that little girl is able to call the remarkable officer her father.
Kaila had been abused by her caregivers, and ended up in hospital as a result of her injuries. Those who abused the young girl were later filed with criminal charges#Arizona #BrianZach #Adoption https://t.co/eGYNKYdvKt
— Realtalktimenews (@Realtalktimenow) December 4, 2020
Kingman Police Lieutenant Brian Zach responded to a residence for a wellbeing check at a home. When he arrived on scene, he said that he immediately knew something was not right. Zach said:
“I went there and realized that her injuries were definitely abuse and they needed to be investigated. I took care of her, took her back to the station…We watched ‘Wreck It Ralph,’ and we just bonded.”
The little girl, named Kaila, was two years old at the time, and was badly injured according to officers. It was the third time that concerned persons had reported potential child abuse at the home Kaila lived in.
The Arizona Department of Child Safety responded, took custody of little Kaila, and took her to the hospital for medical treatment.
Meanwhile, Zach could not forget about his experience with the young girl and how badly he felt for her situation.
Zach said that he spoke to his wife about Kaila, and his desire to make her their daughter. Zach said:
“Came home, told my wife…the story about this little girl that I just bonded with and would love to bring her home. And in the past 15 years, I’ve said that many times to my wife…of some kid that I met that I would love to bring home and love and take care of, so it was nothing new for her.”
Zach reached out to the Arizona Department of Child Safety and inquired if he could meet with the girl to ensure she was doing well. They agreed. After a short period of time, Zach’s family also began visiting with Kaila and they all began to bond with her.
Zach contacted the Arizona Department of Child Safety and asked if they could take Kaila home with them, to stay temporarily, until another solution was found. They agreed, since they could not locate any of Kaila’s family that was willing to take custody of her.
Since the Arizona Department of Child Safety was unable to find anyone to take care of Kaila, they granted Zach and his wife, Cierra, permission to take custody of her.
Zach and his wife moved to adopt the young girl which was granted in August of this year.
Zach spoke about the difficulties he and his wife first faced after wanting to make Kaila a member of their family:
“We had to get a bed. We had to get a high chair and a potty chair. She came with a bag of clothes that didn’t fit her and a sippy cup and that as it.”
Zach said that 2020, to spite its ups and downs, ended well for he and his family since being able to adopt Kaila. He said:
“The best thing to come out of 2020 is the fact that we gained an official member of our family. That was my Christmas present.”
When Kaila was asked what she thought of having a new father, she said:
“I love him – I love him so much.”
Those of us at Law Enforcement Today applaud Zach and his willingness to help a small child in the time of need. Taking a child on in that type of situation must be beyond difficult even in the best of circumstances. Thank you Zach, for being an outstanding example of being a police officer.
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