On February 7, 2012 at 6:00am, Texarkana Arkansas Police responded to a house fire located in the 4700 block of Markwood Street. Dispatch advised officers that an elderly female was trapped inside. Officer Peyton Harris responded to the scene and immediately advised that the house was engulfed in flames. Officer Harris carried a fire extinguisher with him, but by this time it proved useless. During this time members of the family were standing outside coughing from the smoke and screaming that their grandmother was still trapped inside and pointed to a window of the residence. Officer Harris ran to the window, which already had flames pouring out from the inside, and observed the elderly female who was unable to climb out to safety. Officer Harris yelled to a neighbor, who was able to assist in pulling the female from the window and onto the ground. Due to the intensity of the fire increasing, Officer Harris pulled the female out into the front yard where he then realized she was having severe breathing problems.
Officer Harris continued to medically assist the female until Life Net arrived and transported her to St. Michael’s hospital. The female was later air lifted to Little Rock for her injuries. Officer Harris was treated for minor burns.
The female that Officer Harris removed from the burning fire was identified as Betty Brooke, 71 years old, of Texarkana. Her condition is unknown at this time.
Chief Robert Harrison issued a statement saying, “Officer Harris should be commended for his fearless display of courage that resulted in the rescue of this elderly citizen from her burning residence. His actions demonstrate the highest degree of professionalism that can be expected of a police officer. The actions that he took demonstrated a willingness to place the needs of another in front of any concern for his own safety. Office Harris’ actions bring credit to not only himself, but his actions also bring credit to the Police Department and the community as a whole.”
Thank you and you can visit the Texarkana Arkansas Police Department online at http://www.txkusa.org/arkpolice.
Officer Kristi Mitchell
Public Information Officer
903-798-3187 (office) 903-824-4199 (cell)