WARNERS, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — You may have seen footage of the fire along Newport Road in Warners on Sunday morning. There is a different perspective you haven’t seen, from a pair of Camillus Police officers on duty that morning.
Body camera footage shows officers racing toward the burning apartment building at 3 a.m. Sunday morning, after they heard there were people still inside.
Officers Harold Gonzalez and Tyler Williams recounted the scene they encountered.
“As soon as I pulled up I saw flames coming out of the roof and there were a couple of people outside letting me know there were people still inside,” said Officer Gonzalez.
Without hesitation, the officers went into the building. Gonzalez said he had to break the glass on doors in order to open them from the inside.
“We got there and we saw the flames coming from the attic area of the house. There was a neighbor outside, he told us ‘hey there are people in there, and I’m not sure where they are’,” said Officer Williams.
“We went straight into search mode trying to figure out what rooms they were in,” Officer Gonzalez said.
They then headed up towards the second floor. Then, as officer Williams recounts, the flames were above their heads. In the bodycam footage, they can be seen knocking on people’s doors, letting them know their building was on fire.
After they told one resident about the fire, they informed the officers that their neighbor was still in the building as well.
That neighbor was asleep at the time, and the officers woke him up to tell him it was time to go.
“Luckily we got there when we did because a couple of minutes later, it could have been a different outcome,” Officer Williams said.
The officers said they took risks running into the building, but they were just doing their jobs.
“That’s the risk we’re willing to take every day, that’s what we signed up to do,” said Officer Williams.
However, they do have some thoughts looking back on the whole ordeal.
“But then, after the fact, we look back and say, maybe that wasn’t the smartest thing to do and sometimes we do have firefighters say, ‘Hey man, don’t do that again, you got lucky’,” Officer Gonzalez said.
It was also lucky for the two men helped out of their apartments that Officers Williams and Gonzalez were on duty that Sunday morning.