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Lifestyle & Human Interest

Three Children Saved by Police Officers After Being Tossed from 3rd Story of Burning Apartment

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Emergencies tend to take place when you least expect them — that’s what makes them emergencies. Whether it’s when you’re on vacation, in the dead of the night or on a random Sunday, accidents seem to take place at the most inconvenient and unexpected times.

For one mother and her children in Des Moines, Iowa, it was around 3 o’clock in the morning on March 19 when a fire broke out on the third floor of the apartment complex they lived in.

Osheana Harrison, the mother, told KCRG that she’d only lived there for two weeks. Not only that, the smoke detectors in her apartment were apparently defunct because they never made a peep.

“My aunt says I have an angel watching over me,” she said. “I don’t know what woke me up, but thank God I did.”

Des Moines police officers reached the apartment before the firefighters arrived, and found Harrison on the third floor screaming from her window.

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The police officers urged her to gather her children, and then they told her to drop them down, one at a time, so they would be saved.

“Get them by the window,” Officer Cole Johnson said in one video, according to KCRG-TV. “Send them down. Drop him. Drop him. Keep going. Stay right here. I got them. Go. Go.”

Cops managed to catch each of the three children with no issue, and the body camera footage shows the incredible rescue.

“Before we had arrived, there were people in one of the apartments tossing down their kids,” Des Moines Fire Department’s Lieutenant Rick Thomas told WHO-DT. “Police department caught three of them and then when fire crews arrived, they pulled one or two more out.”

Once all three kids were safe and away from the fire, the fire department used a ladder to rescue Harrison. Thankfully, no one was injured and the fire was contained.

The Des Moines Police posted the details on their Facebook page and commended the officers who were involved with the rescue.

“Early this morning, DMPD officers responded to assist DMFD with a structure fire at an apartment complex in the 3700 block of MLK Parkway,” they wrote on March 19. “Officers arrived to find that heavy smoke was preventing their access to the 3rd floor.”

“Senior Police Officers Cole Johnson, Craig Vasquez, Tyler Kelley, and Casey Sanders quickly positioned themselves outside the building, and caught children that were dropped to them from a 3rd floor window. All are well.”

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“Please join us in thanking these officers, and those who serve with them, for leaving their homes every day to help make Des Moines the safe and secure city that it is!”

“**Top L, SPO Cole Johnson, Top R SPO Craig Vasquez, Bottom L SPO Casey Sanders, Bottom R SPO Tyler Kelley”

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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