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Sergeants rush into burning home to rescue 96-year-old woman

Sgt. Crayg Dykes and Sgt. Jeremey Young were the first to respond to what started as a kitchen fire at 313 Elbow St in Salina. They said they knew right away they didn't have time to wait for firefighters.
Salina (WSYR-TV)- A 96-year-old woman was saved from her burning house Sunday by two sergeants from the Onondaga County Sheriff's Office, who crawled through the flames to rescue her.

Sgt. Crayg Dykes and Sgt. Jeremey Young were the first to respond to what started as a kitchen fire at 313 Elbow St in Salina. They said they knew right away they didn't have time to wait for firefighters.

"When we arrived there was a man outside yelling to us that grandma was inside," said Sgt. Dykes.

Sgt. Young said, "Our primary objective is to preserve life, therefore, at that point we knew we had to make entry."

"We opened the door that leads to the kitchen from the garage and we could both see heavy flames and smoke and we looked at each other and made a decision- we had to go in and try to save this woman who was bed ridden," said Sgt. Dykes.

Dressed in patrol uniforms, without any protective or fire retardant gear, the sergeants crawled to the grandmother's first floor bedroom.

"As we make entry we're in a situation driven by our training," said Sgt. Young. "We're trained to preserve life and as the smoke is in the air and flames are above us we know that our primary objective is in that rear bedroom. At that point there wasn't anything that was going to stop us from getting there."

The grandmother was in a hospital bed unable to walk.

"I grabbed her legs, Sgt. Young grabbed her shoulders and picked her up and we yelled out for someone to the outside to catch her as we put her out," said Sgt. Dykes.

Dykes said the woman's grandson came around and carried her away from the house. Then the sergeants had to save themselves.

"There was a moment of panic there because the window was very small - really not large enough for either of us to exit comfortably," Sgt. Dykes said.

The sergeants said they thought they'd be able to leave back through the kitchen, but the flames were too intense. Instead, they had to go feet first and force themselves through the small window.

Four family members, including a 3-week old baby, made it out safely before first responders arrived.
TOWN OF SALINA (WSYR-TV) - A 96-year-old woman, trapped in her burning home, is rescued by two Sergeants with the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office on Sunday afternoon.

At about 2:30 p.m. a grease fire started in the kitchen of the elderly woman’s home on Elbow Road.

Sergeant Crayg Dykes and Jeremy Young were nearby and rushed to the scene.

When they arrived, the woman was trapped in her bedroom.

“They went in through the smoke and flames and got into the bedroom,” said Onondaga County Sheriff Kevin Walsh. “They couldn't bring her back out because the smoke was so heavy and at that point they passed her out through a window to a waiting grandson.”

Sergeant Dykes and Young were treated at the scene for smoke inhalation. 
 
Sergeant Dykes suffered a minor burn to his forearm.  
 
The fire caused significant damage to the kitchen.  
 
The Red Cross is assisting the family that lives in the home.
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