ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS – Borough police Patrolman Travis Sodon had one question as he arrived at the scene of a house fire in August: “What about the dogs?”
Police determined the burning home was unoccupied, but there were pets on the property including a dog stranded on a raised second-story porch. Smoke was already pouring out of the first floor.
Body-camera footage released by the department Tuesday shows Sodon scrambling to reach the dog and moving quickly to find a way up to the porch.
He grabbed scaffolding from the side of the house, moved it to the front yard and climbed on top of it in an attempt to rescue the dog. But the scaffolding wasn’t high enough to reach the balcony, Chief David Rossbach said in a Facebook post.
So former Borough Fire Chief Brian Sheehan grabbed a chair from the front yard and handed it up to Sodon. The officer then stood on top of the chair and climbed to the side of the roughly 15-foot high balcony, where he was able to lift the stranded dog up by the collar and hand the pooch to onlookers who had gathered at the scene, Rossbach said. You can see the footage in the video at the top of this story.
“Patrolman Sodon risked his personal safety to rescue the dog with assistance from Fire Chief Sheehan, Sergeant (Brian) Phair, and the good Samaritans who stopped to assist,” Rossbach said in the Facebook post.
The chief released body-camera footage of the Aug. 16 rescue on Tuesday “to show a fine example of the extraordinary work that our first responders do on a day in and day out basis.”
Emergency crews had been dispatched to the home after receiving reports of an explosion and a structure fire.
Firefighters quickly extinguished the blaze and were able to save the house, Rossbach said. Another dog was removed from the back of the house.
Sodon will receive a meritorious service award to recognize his efforts in rescuing the dog, the chief said.
This article originally appeared on Asbury Park Press: Atlantic Highlands police video shows stranded dog rescued from burning home
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