Unified Police Officer Rushes Into Burning Home Trying To Save Man

Dec 16, 2019, 10:30 PM | Updated: 10:42 pm

MAGNA, Utah – When a man on the front steps of a Magna house told him that his father was trapped, officer Eric Salway with the Unified Police Department said there was no other choice than to run inside.

Flames were shooting out of a basement window and smoke had filled the home at 3378 South Broadway Street.

“I can see someone sitting in a wheelchair about 10, 12 feet inside,” Salway said.

Salway said the smoke from the early Monday morning fire quickly became oppressive.

“It shocked me, honestly, how just even 10 feet into the house how difficult it was to breathe — I felt it immediately,” the officer said. “I just ran in and grabbed him as fast as I could and pulled him out.”

Salway and arriving paramedics attempted life-saving measures to revive the elderly man, but he never regained consciousness.

He was later identified by police as 96-year-old Willis Shepherd.

“I’d actually been here to the house before,” Salway said. “I’m somewhat familiar with the family — yeah, he was a World War II vet. He was a good guy.”

Late Monday, a Unified Fire Authority spokesman said that while the origin of the fire was determined to be the basement, the cause remained under investigation and damage to the home was estimated at $50,000.

Salway said he never thought twice about risking his own life to try to save another.

“Police officers, we care about people,” Salway said. “You just do it. We’re trained and that’s what we do and, you know, we just hoped for a better outcome, really.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

JR Johansen with his Uvalde portraits...
Dan Rascon

Utah artist delivers portraits to families of Uvalde shooting victims

A Utah artist recently took a life-changing trip to a small Texas town to make a special delivery for residents who are still recovering from a horrific mass shooting.
1 day ago
Handcuffs in a jail cell FILE PHOTO (Ravell Call/Deseret News)...
Pat Reavy

Four teens looking for rival gang members charged in connection with triple killing at party

Four teen boys have been charged in connection with a gang-related shooting at a house party in West Jordan last year that left three people dead.
1 day ago
A side by side of the two photos. (KSL-TV)...
Lauren Steinbrecher

Utah woman’s engagement photo pays tribute to grandmother’s love story at Bryce Canyon National Park

A Utah couple's engagement photo recreating the bride-to-be's grandparents at Bryce Canyon National Park 63 years later is going viral, with a beautiful love story behind it.
1 day ago
Railroad crossing safety...
Katija Stjepovic

Bill to make Utah railroad crossings safer advances in House

As the beehive state continues to grow, more people are commuting, whether by car, train, or foot, we have seen more collisions on Utah`s railroads.
1 day ago
The Provo Airport is beyond capacity, and plans are being made for increased service and more growt...
Alex Cabrero

New Provo Airport discussing expansion after year of rapid growth

A new airport in Provo is already at capacity and continually growing -- discussions of expanding and additional service are already underway.
1 day ago
Inversion over Salt Lake City...
Jed Boal

UTA free fare year proposed to improve Utah’s air quality

The bipartisan Utah Legislative Clean Air Caucus unveiled several bills and appropriations Tuesday aimed at improving air quality in Utah.  
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

vintage photo of lighting showroom featuring chandeliers, lamps, wall lights and mirrors...
Lighting Design

History of Lighting Design | Over 25 Years of Providing Utah With the Latest Trends and Styles

Read about the history of Lighting Design, a family-owned and operated business that paved the way for the lighting industry in Utah.
Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Unified Police Officer Rushes Into Burning Home Trying To Save Man