Paralyzed woman dramatically rescued by police from burning home
CAMPBELL, Calif. - Campbell Police Monday released dramatic body camera footage showing the rescue of a paralyzed woman from a burning home.
The rescue happened Friday around 6:15 in the morning.
Videos show two Campbell Police officers running into the burning home as flames were engulfing the garage roof and attic.
"Right here, we got to get her out," Campbell Police Department Field Supervisor Martin Rivera is heard saying to Officer Keith Bendixen.
Inside the home, 95-year-old Evelyn McCuispion lay paralyzed in a bed.
Her family says she was partially paralyzed after a stroke a few years ago and when the fire broke out, her daughter-in-law and caretaker Annette Perkins was unable to get McCuispion out.
"We woke up. The house was on fire. I couldn't breath. I couldn't see," said Perkins. "I was terrified we were going to die."
The officers first considered rolling the elderly woman's bed out but after reviewing several challenges including medical equipment, they moved to another plan.
They momentarily considered wrapping the woman in a blanket and carrying her out, but then finally decided to instead move her into a wheelchair and were safely able to roll her out.
"We know ma'am. The house is on fire ma'am," one of the officers is heard saying.
The rescue happened in about three minutes time, all while flames were reaching from the roof.
"We definitely consider their actions nothing short of heroic," said Luisa Rapport from the Santa Clara County Fire Department.
Santa Clara County Fire says it has a partnership with Campbell Police where officers respond to every incident in the city and in this case, the officers arrived first.
"The fact that those Campbell Police Department officers took those quick actions to get those residents out...they really did save some lives that day," said Rapport.
"This was not an easy extraction of someone who is obviously fairly frail and needed to be helped and I think they did a phenomenal job," said Campbell Police Captain Ian White.
For the elderly woman's relatives, 'thank you' isn't enough for what Officers Rivera and Bendixen did for their family.
"They put their lives on the line every day for people they don't even know and I thank God for them. I really do," said Perkins.
The family is staying in a local hotel because of water and smoke damage.
The cause of the fire is under investigation, but fire officials say it is not considered suspicious.
The two officers have been nominated for recognition from the Santa Clara County Fire Department for their heroic actions.