Body cam video released of SCMPD officers rescuing man from house fire

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Firefighters battled a house fire early Friday morning in Savannah.

Savannah Fire responded to the call around 4:45 a.m. The single-story home, located in the 1100 block of Augusta Avenue, was fully engulfed in flames and smoke when fire crews arrived.

"There were two people outside the residence. Both of them told us there was one person left inside," said SCMPD officer, Barrett Hood.

That's when four Savannah Metro officers took off towards the burning home.

"It was incredibly difficult to see. We could barely see each other," Hood said.

While searching for the man inside, officers were hitting dead ends. That's when they started busting every window and door.

"Our thought process was, we want him to hear the glass breaking and make his way toward the glass," Hood said.

This allowed enough smoke to clear, but the man inside was in shock and wouldn't move.

"When he didn't respond to my commands, I took a few steps inside of the doorway. I helped him to the ground and I began dragging him out," Hood said. "His eyes were moving back and forth and he was alert enough to ask us to hold his hand if possible, so we held his hand."

The other three officers who assisted with the rescue include SCCPS Officer Arthur Bryant, SCMPD Officer Shaquille Brown, and SCMPD Officer Kevin Toliver.

"I had my faith, I had my family, and I had my brothers that are standing behind me, and that's all I needed," Hood said.

Body cam video has been released of the daring rescue attempt. 

According to SCMPD, Officer Barrett Hood located the victim and began pulling him out while radioing for help. Officers Kevin Toliver, Shaquille Brown and a Board of Education Officer, Arthur Bryant, also responded and helped pull the victim to safety. He was taken to Memorial University Medical Center for burns and smoke inhalation.

Some of the responding SCMPD officers also had to be checked out at the scene for smoke inhalation, but all checked out fine.

Savannah Fire said it took only 10 minutes to get the fire out. Fire crews will remain at the scene to monitor hot spots.

The entire structure suffered extensive fire damage and all three residents were displaced.

The family says they are grateful that they made it out alive. Cassandra Days tells us she is glad that Metro pulled out one of her family members.

"It's kind of crazy when you sit in there watching everything that you own go up in flames, but you have to be grateful that you made it alive because so many times, these things end up in tragedy," Days said.

"Officer Tolliver and Officer Brown kicked in the front door and when they did, a lot of the smoke that was around the side entrance of the house went out their side. When that happened, I could see the silhouette of the gentleman standing inside the doorway about two or three feet inside," said Officer Barrett Hood. "I started giving him demands to come near me. I don't know if he was disoriented or couldn't hear me or if it was a little bit of both. When he didn't respond to my commands, I took a few steps inside of the doorway, helped him to the ground, and began dragging him out."

"When you get to these scenes, you don't think about who you are," Officer Bryant said. "All you think about is trying to get there and making sure everyone is safe in the community. One good thing is I was raised in this community and it's good to make sure people in this community you're raised in are safe, and we're out here to keep them safe."

SCMPD says they are proud they have officers on their team who showed bravery like they did in this situation.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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