Madison, IN – Five children and their grandmother were rescued from a burning home by jumping from a second-story window into the arms of Madison police over the Independence Day weekend (video below).
The Madison Police Department (MPD) posted dramatic bodycam footage of the heroic rescue to Facebook on Monday.
The incident occurred at approximately 1 a.m. on July 3, when police received a report of a fire at a home located in the 600-block of Walnut Street, the MPD said in a press release.
When they arrived at the house, they realized there was a group of children trapped inside an upstairs apartment.
“The first thing I remember seeing or hearing was glass breaking,” MPD Detective Shawn Scudder told WAVE. “And I knew immediately there was somebody in that apartment up there.”
The staircase between the ground floor and the second story “was engulfed in flames,” the MPD said.
“At the top of the stairs there was heavy fire, heavy fire at the front door,” MPD Officer Josh Nolan explained. “So, there was no way we could make entry into that apartment. So going out the window was the only option.”
A quick-thinking 10-year-old girl trapped on the second story broke out a window to allow for her family members to escape, WAVE reported.
“She punched through and broke the glass out of the way,” MPD Patrolman Nichole Midgett recounted. “And then she just started pulling the babies out and all the children jumped out.”
Bodycam footage showed the children jumping and being dropped from the busted-out window and into the arms of the officers who encouraged them from below.
“Come on – we’ll catch her! You gotta hurry!” they yelled. “Come on! You can do it! It’s okay! Jump! You have to!”
The officers caught the five children – who ranged in age from three to 13 – as well as their grandmother, who had been babysitting the brood, WAVE reported.
No one was severely injured.
The cause of the fire remained under investigation, the MPD said.
“It was one of the most chaotic scenes we’ve ever been on, yet the most seamless response we’ve probably ever had,” MPD Patrolman Phillip Wimpee told WAVE. “And I think all of us would agree with that. I can’t recall in my career ever being a part of something that worked out so smoothly.”
The officers said they had never trained for this particular scenario.
“Sometimes, you go with it, and if it is running smooth, you stick with it,” Officer Nolan told WAVE.
Officer Wimpee told FOX News that he “kind of went into dad-mode” during the rescue and tried to talk to the children like they were his own.
A lot of his fellow officers did the same thing, he said.
Officer Midgett told FOX News she’s extremely thankful that the entire situation ended as well as it did.
“Obviously there’s so many other circumstances and outcomes that could’ve happened, and I think a lot of us just felt grateful that we could help make that outcome what it was,” she said.
Watch the incident unfold in the video below:
A family of six in Madison, Indiana, were rescued from a second-floor apartment fire, falling into the arms of police officers below after their home caught fire early on Sunday, July 3. Five children, ranging in age from 3 to 13, and their grandmother were trapped. pic.twitter.com/fZuChysQr7
— CBS News (@CBSNews) July 7, 2022