2 Calif. officers praised for rescue in fire

By Henry K. Lee
The San Francisco Chronicle

FREMONT, Calif. Two Fremont police officers are being praised for rushing into a burning apartment Thursday morning to rescue an unconscious woman.

The actions of officers John Anderson and Brian Shadle saved the woman's life, said Capt. Gerry Fogel of the Fremont Fire Department.

"They were absolutely heroic," Fogel said. "They put their own safety aside to rescue this woman."

The officers were conducting a traffic stop at Mowry Avenue and State Street about 9:10 a.m. when someone ran up to tell about an apartment fire around the corner at 3600 Pennsylvania Ave., authorities said.

The officers went to the 20-unit building and saw smoke coming through the door frame of one of the units and heard a woman "moaning for help," Fogel said.

They kicked the door open, dropped to the floor and saw the woman's feet, Fogel said. They saw that she was unconscious and pulled her outside.

The woman, whose name was not released, was taken to Washington Hospital in Fremont before being transferred to a burn center. Anderson, a 27-year veteran, and Shadle, a 13-year veteran, were taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation.

Firefighters rescued two other residents from their apartment balconies, Fogel said. Those residents were uninjured.

The fire was put out in about a half hour and caused an estimated $600,000 in damage. The cause is being investigated.

Copyright 2007 The San Francisco Chronicle

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