Onalaska Police Officers save woman from fire - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Onalaska Police Officers save woman from fire


ONALASKA, WI (WXOW)—Two Onalaska Police Officers pull a woman to safety after responding to a fire at an assisted care facility around 4:00 a.m.

Onalaska Police and Fire Departments were called to the Pinedale Apartments, at 501 13th Avenue South.

Onalaska Police Officer Sean Colgan and Officer Justin Kingery were the first people on scene; neighbors told officers they could hear a woman inside yelling for help.

The two went inside the apartment complex and heard Patricia Jacobs.

They asked her to come to the door, but she couldn't, so they had to kick the door down.

The room was filled with so much smoke, once they were in, they couldn't see anything, but officers decided to go in anyway to get Patricia out of the building.

"It definitely takes a hero to do that," Chief Jeffrey Trotnic, Onalaska Police Department said.  "Officers don't think of it that way. When we're on a call like that we just react sometimes with out even thinking about the consequences because that's what we do."

Chief Trotnic said Officer Colgan and Officer Kingery knew how important every second was in saving Patricia's life they didn't wait for the fire department to arrive to go in.

Patricia was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Another life saving tool inside the department was the sprinkler system.

The fire activated the sprinkler in the apartment which was able to put out the fire.

Assistant Fire Chief Troy Gudie said the sprinkler system activated the fire alarm in the building to wake everyone up so they could get outside.

"At 4:00 in the morning the fire could have went undetected and the outcome could have been far worse than what it was," Asst. Chief Gudie said.

There was some water damage to the apartment that had a fire and two other units.

But, the water was cleaned up Monday morning so the residents to the two other units were able to go back home.

Asst. Chief Gudie said if there is a fire it's important to call the fire department even if the sprinklers have been activated so help can arrive as soon as possible because the systems aren't always monitored.

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