RICHMOND, Virginia – Two Richmond police officers are under consideration for a rescue award following their heroic actions during a motel fire.
On January 7 at approximately 5:30 p.m., Constables Ben Frazer and Steve Gibson were looking for a wanted individual near the Richmond Inn and discovered a fire in the back of the motel.
“I went upstairs and started knocking on doors. No one answered the doors, so we had to open the doors manually, ”Frazer recalls.
The partners used a ram to break into some rooms as they rushed to warn guests of the flames.
Upstairs, Officer Frazer rushed through the smoke as the flames rose.
“As soon as the fire extinguisher ran out, I heard an ottoman and the curtains went up. He hit the balcony and climbed up and over it. Of course, he was basically there, ”Gibson explained.
Captain Faith Flippo of the Richmond Third Police Station described the moment as Officer Frazer covered in smoke.
“All of a sudden the smoke took over and he lost sight, he had to hang on to a railing to get out when he was already trying to save someone and helping people, ”Flippo said.
Flippo said their efforts deserved a rescue prize.
“They put themselves in danger to save others. Our agents in Richmond do this every day and in this situation it is good that the two agents involved have been recognized for it, ”she said.
Nearly a dozen guests were saved thanks to the rapid reactions of the agents.
Constable Frazer’s injuries required oxygen in the back of an ambulance, but the couple quickly returned to duty.
“In a situation like this, I don’t think it matters whether you are a police officer or a firefighter or whatever – the average human being would have done the same as us,” he said.
These officers believed there was a lesson to be learned from a potentially devastating fire. Constable Gibson discovered that some of the guests worried about their belongings in their rooms rather than escaping danger.
“We’re not here to watch your business burn,” Frazer explained. “We’re here to protect the people there. Just do us a favor, listen to us and we’ll get you back to your room.
No one else was injured.
Richmond Police apprehended the wanted individual on Wednesday.