PORT WASHINGTON – The Port Washington Police Department recognizes one of their officers who rushed into a burning house to rescue an elderly man.
On Sunday, September 12, Constable Tony Becker was at the police station when he heard and saw an explosion in a house about a block away. The officer rushed to the scene, where a woman had already left her home but said her husband was inside downstairs.
Parts of the house were on fire and thick black smoke billowed from the garage where Agent Becker entered to save the old man.
Bodycam video posted by the police department shows the officer running through the smoke and calling for the man inside. “John, come here, come to my voice… go up the stairs sir.” Crawl, crawl, go to the ground, go to the ground, I’ll take your hand, ”the officer can be heard saying on the video.
Moments later, the man comes out of the smoke and the officer pulls him to safety.
Firefighters arrived and knocked out the flames. Neighbor Barbara Patterson was taking a nap in the apartment next door when the explosion occurred. Her husband ran inside and told her to get out.
She says if it hadn’t been for the officer, the man next door might have died.
“Without a doubt. Without a doubt. I hate to say that but if he [Officer Becker] hadn’t done that, he would be dead. The smoke was so thick that that alone would have been catastrophic, ”Patterson said.
It is said that the couple who lived in the house are doing well. They are with their adult children while we find out what happens next with the house.
Officer Tony Becker was treated for smoke inhalation at the local hospital, released, and then returned to his post.
It is not known whether the house is a total loss or not. Patterson’s house suffered smoke and water damage. It appears that the fire and explosions were caused by a barbecue setting fire to nearby propane tanks.
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