Two LC officers considered ‘heroes’ following apartment fire

News Herald Author: Brandon L. Jones

Two Lenoir City Police officers are being lauded as heroes following the successful rescue of an elderly woman Tuesday night.

Officers Jeremy Dishner and Jason Butler responded to a fire at 109 Allison Ln. prior to the arrival of the Lenoir City Fire Department to find an apartment on fire and a woman trapped inside.

The call came out.  Reports indicated that a woman possibly may be trapped inside the apartment.  The call came from a neighbor who could smell smoke but, moreover, hear the elderly woman screaming, said Butler. 

Luckily, only about 30 seconds away, Dishner and Butler arrived on scene.  “As soon as we got out of our cars, a female subject approached us in, basically, a hysterical manner.”  She told officers that she could smell the smoke and heard the elderly woman’s cries for help.  The officers too noted the smell and saw smoke rising from the top of the apartment. 

“We went down to the back, I knocked on the door once.”  Having been told her name, he knocked again, calling out for her.  “I could hear her moan, it sounded like from the distance,” said Butler.  
“Looking through the window, we could see smoke,” he continued.  “At which point, I made the decision to go ahead and try to make entry and kicked the door a couple of times.”  It didn’t move, he confessed.  “So we broke the window out closest to the door to see if we could turn the deadbolt.”  That didn’t work either.  “Officer Dishner kicked the door, at which point, the door flew open and smoke rolled out,” Butler said.

The duo dove into a rescue attempt.  “I went in first, I believe,” said Butler.  “I crawled through and located the female in the kitchen and dragged her halfway through.  Officer Dishner grabbed her feet, and we carried her to safety.” 

“I stayed with her pretty much the whole time.  I was supporting her and helping establish her breathing . . . and stay conscious until EMS arrived,” he said.

The apartments were evacuated, and Butler said the fire was contained to the one unit and is believed to have originated at the stove.

Regarding his officers’ clutch performance, Lenoir City Police Chief Don White had this to say Wednesday afternoon: “I would certainly call them heroes.  They did go above and beyond the call of duty, and they acted like heroes in this situation and saved . . . this lady’s life.  Both Officer Dishner and Officer Butler’s quick thinking and fast decision-making to actually make entry into the residence, I do believe saved her life.  They put their life in danger by going into the smoke-filled apartment with an active fire, that was just heroic.  And the fire department, they weren’t sure how long it would take them to get there, so they had to make those quick decisions.”