Fire Causes ‘Significant’ Damage To Layton Home
Jan 12, 2020, 9:04 AM | Updated: 11:08 pm
LAYTON, Utah – Three people were able to get out of their Davis County home after it caught fire, but one needed some assistance from police officers to escape from the home’s basement.
The fire broke out before 6 a.m. Sunday at 2750 East Summerwood Drive in Layton and officers from the Layton Police Department found a woman trapped in the basement.
Broken glass, charred shutters and soot were evidence of the heroic and frantic efforts to save her.
“We actually had an officer try to go in there, he wasn’t able to get in,” said officer Cody Bowman of the Layton Police Department.
It was just after 6 a.m. Sunday and officers found everyone else inside the home had gotten out safely except for the woman who was on the phone with 911 operators.
“I don’t think she speaks English,” Bowman said, explaining that operators were able to communicate with her through an interpreting service.
Officer Mitch Porter with the Layton Police Department was the first officer on scene. With flames raging, Porter started looking for an entry point and the victim. He had tried the front door of the home but the flames prevented him from entering.
So he made his way to the back of the home calling for the woman through doors and windows.
“I was out of places to check it was my last chance of finding her without getting engulfed in flames myself and when I kicked the window open she started talking to me,” Porter said.
By then other officers had caught up with Porter, who jumped into the window well where he started calling to the woman, guiding her to the window with his voice.
“We just kept saying ‘come to the sound of our voice, come to the sound of our voice,’” said Bowman, who also assisted. “Once the window was broken, the smoke started coming up and just started getting thicker as the time went on.”
That’s when they saw her hand emerge through the thick smoke.
“I really am surprised that she was talking to us… from how much smoke was coming out of the room,” Bowman said.
Porter said he latched onto the woman’s hand.
“It was major relief because when you saw the hand come out… you know she was talking to us so then we were able to grab her,” Bowman said as he struggled to hold back his emotions.
Then, he jumped in and Porter passed the woman’s hand to Bowman.
“We said don’t let go of her hand because if you let go of her hand, we might lose her,” Bowman said.
Another officer then pulled Porter out who was beginning to show signs of smoke inhalation.
“At a certain point you start losing your ability to breathe,” Porter said.
That same officer then helped to pull the woman out of the window well, according to Bowman.
“Officer Peterson is the one who picked her up, put her on his shoulder and took her to the front to receive medical attention,” Bowman explained.
Asked if they consider themselves heroes, the officers were quick to deflect to their brothers in blue.
“Without the other officers there to help me get out of the window well, I would’ve been stuck in the window well too. It takes a team,” Porter said.
Porter and Bowman were taken to the hospital and treated for smoke inhalation and were released later Sunday morning.
Porter said the woman was being treated in the room next to his but he hadn’t had a chance to speak with her.
The cause of the fire was under investigation.