PINELLAS PARK — A police officer carried a 73-year-old man out of his burning home early Friday, according to Pinellas Park police.
The incident took place at about 4 a.m. at a fire reported along the 4330 block of 70th Avenue N. The police department gave this account of the rescue:
The Pinellas Park Fire Department was dispatched to the fire, and when Officer Jeffrey DeTrano saw the fire vehicles driving along 49th Street N while he was on patrol, the agency said he followed them to the scene.
When they arrived, flames were shooting out of the house. A neighbor told the officer that the resident, Christopher Jones, might still be inside the burning home.
DeTrano told firefighters the resident may still be inside, then went to the backyard. He saw black smoke pouring out of an open back door. When DeTrano looked inside, police said, he spotted Jones crouched down, but he wasn’t responding to the officer’s voice.
So DeTrano went inside and pulled the 73-year-old man out, police said.
Jones was taken to a local hospital, where he was reported to be in stable condition. No first-responders were injured.
“Officer DeTrano’s actions saved a life today," said Pinellas Park Deputy Fire Chief Robert Angell in a statement. “If it were not for his actions, the outcome would have been tragic.”
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.