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Clarksville Police Officers Rescue Man from House Fire at 834 Stafford Street

 

Clarksville Police Department - CPDClarksville, TN – When Clarksville Police Officers came to work this frigid morning, little did they realize they would be called into action to save a man’s life.

On Saturday, January 6th, 2018, around 6:15am, 911 received a call about a residential fire at 834 Stafford Street. The caller was not sure whether anyone was in the residence or not, but did know someone lived there.

Officers were already on the way to the call due to the rapid notification afforded by the recently installed Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system in CPD’s police cars. Officer Darren Koski arrived first in scene in less than one and half minutes.

There was a house fire on Stafford Street early Saturday morning.

There was a house fire on Stafford Street early Saturday morning.

Based on the presence of vehicles outside of the residence and witness information officers believed`, most likely, someone was inside of the residence.

Multiple officers arrived on scene and pounded on doors and windows to try and awake any occupant (s) inside. There was no response from inside of the house but, a smoke alarm could be heard wailing from inside.

Officers made a decision to make entry into the residence to look for anyone inside. Officers Koski and Freeman kicked in the front door.

In the meantime other officers continue to try to establish contact with anyone who might be inside. Officer Darren Koski, Officer Craig Gipson, and Sgt Dave Bramel quickly made a decision to enter the burning residence and developed a methodical plan for entry, without concern their own well being.

Officer Koski was first in the house, with Officer Gipson behind him, and Sgt Bramel was at the opening of the exterior doorway. They all were low to the ground and remained in contact with each other by holding onto each other’s ankles, crawling inside of the burning house.

By now there was almost zero visibility due to the heavy smoke inside. The officers kept calling so anyone inside could hear them. Officers could see the fire to their left beginning to move up the wall across the ceiling. The room was filled with smoke that came down to about 6 inches from the floor and visibility was almost zero.

Officers finally heard a voice from the back of the house and they began yelling for the man, later identified as Ben Gregg, 30, to come to them. He told them he couldn’t see, so they yelled for him to get on the ground and crawl toward their flashlights. Gregg finally appeared on his hands and knees, but was very disoriented. Officers were able to grab onto and pull him out the front door to safety.

Within seconds after rescuing Gregg and getting out of the house, there was an explosion and the house was fully engulfed by fire. After everyone was safely outside, Ben Gregg told officers he slept heavily and keeps a towel at the base of the bedroom door to keep out any light. He had no idea the house was on fire and did not awaken until he heard some sort of crashing sound (most likely when officers kicked in the door).

He said there was no smoke in the room, but when he opened the door he could not see more than an inch in front of him due to the thickness of the smoke. He heard officers yelling and heard banging from both directions of the house, but was totally disoriented in his own house and was not sure what direction to go until he heard the officers calling him and telling him to come toward the light.

Officer Koski and Gipson had some smoke inhalation, but were uninjured. Ben Gregg was unharmed. Clarksville Fire Rescue quickly responded and extinguished the blaze, but the house is considered a total loss. Clarksville Fire rescue remained on scene for hours putting out “hot spots”. The cause of the fire is still being determined.

Ben Gregg shared that if it had not been for the officers, he would not have known the house was on fire and most likely would have died.

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