Officer crawls through burning home to rescue woman with wheelchair

Police responded to the East Jackson Street home Monday evening to investigate a reported family fight and discovered there was smoke coming out of the house and a woman, who cannot walk, was asleep inside, Mountain Home police reported Tuesday afternoon.

Officer Brian Thomas entered the smoke-filled home and crawled on his hands and knees from room to room until he found the woman in a back bedroom, police said. Sgt. Russell Griggs entered the home with a fire extinguisher and helped Thomas bring the woman to safety in her wheelchair, police said.

The woman was treated for smoke inhalation and then refused medical treatment, police said. Sgt. Griggs and Officer Thomas were taken to St. Luke's Elmore Medical Center, where they were treated for smoke inhalation and later released.

"If it were not for the actions of Sgt. Griggs and Officer Thomas, there is a high chance that this woman would not have survived," Mountain Home Fire Chief Mark Moore said. "These officers put the safety of another person ahead of their own, and that bravery and professionalism should be recognized."

No one else was inside the home when police arrived about 7:15 p.m. Monday, but the four adults and four children who live there were displaced due to the extent of the damage to the home, police said. The Red Cross provided funds for their lodging and immediate needs.

Mountain Home police are investigating this as a suspicious fire, and the fire department is still trying to determine the exact cause of the fire, according to a police news release.