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Lifestyle & Human Interest

Officers Work to Save Mother, Daughter and Cat from Fire: Nominated for Meritorious Service Medals

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On Dec. 11, three officers with the Austin Police Department (APD) helped rescue a family from an apartment fire, but then went the extra mile to ensure they would have a Merry Christmas as well.

When the police arrived on the scene, the front of the apartment was ablaze. As they ran around the side they could see someone on the second-story balcony.

One officer immediately leaped up onto a fence below the balcony, reaching up to a woman and her daughter who were trapped on the balcony.

At some points he was almost completely obscured by drifting smoke, coughing as he reached for the girl.

The APD has since released the bodycam footage, showing the daring rescue in detail.

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“On December 11, 2021, at about 3:36 a.m., APD officers responded to a fire at an apartment complex on the 1600 block of East Anderson Lane,” the APD posted on Facebook on Monday.

“One of the 9-1-1 callers said she and her 10-year-old daughter were trapped.

“APD Officer Brent Gray, Officer Ana Aguilar, and Sgt. Gilbert all assisted in rescuing the daughter from the balcony, and Austin Fire Department used ladders to help get the mother down.”

On the bodycam video, multiple people repeatedly tell the officer to go get oxygen after more responders arrive on the scene to help the mother off the balcony

“Thanks to these [officers] for their quick actions and dedicated response in rescuing this family, they have been nominated for a Meritorious Service Medals,” the post continued.

“We are also happy to report that the cat in the apartment was also found safe.”

According to KABC-TV, other people were also rescued from the apartment building and the cause of the fire has not yet been determined.

As if saving the lives of the mother and daughter was not enough, the police met up with the mother and daughter later with Christmas presents in tow. Blankets, bracelets, Barbies — the girl was clearly excited by the thoughtful gesture.

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“Earlier this week, we commended several of our officers for their work rescuing a family from an apartment fire,” the APD posted on Wednesday, along with a video of the gift reveal.

“Last night, those same officers brought gifts to that family who lost their home in the fire.”

The heroic rescue and kind gesture have warmed many hearts. While this holiday might not be quite what this mother, daughter and cat expected, thanks to these kind officers the spirit of Christmas is still alive and well.

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking