Officer saves man from burning home in Norwich - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Officer saves man from burning home in Norwich

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A Norwich officer said he was just doing his job when he saved the life of a man from a burning apartment, but he said that man is calling him a hero.

A smoke alarm went off inside an apartment on North Main Street around 4 a.m.

Officer Sean Sullivan was sitting in his cruiser on North Main Street and writing some paperwork when he noticed smoke coming from the building.

"I smelled smoke, got out of the car, looked up and saw a lot of smoke in the air," Sullivan said.

Then, Sullivan said he saw a man hanging outside a second-floor window.

"I just wanted him to calm down," Sullivan said. "Let him know we were there and we were going to get him out of the house."

That man, Antonie Damas, told Eyewitness News he was ready to jump from his window because he was being overcome by smoke.

"Smoke I cannot even see," Damas said. "The fire was by my refrigerator, the fire was all over."

Damas told Eyewitness News he was asleep when the alarm went off.

"When I get up and I turn around and open the door, smoke covered all of the kitchen and my bedroom," Damas said. "So I can't find nowhere to go, so I open this window."

Sullivan was able to convince Damas not to jump and radioed for help.

"We were trying to figure out how to get into the house," Sullivan said. "He told us there were two doors, one in the back, one in the front."

Sullivan still had to fire a way to get Damas out safely.

"Went around back, couldn't get the back one open, went around the front. By the time I got the front door open officers were coming through the back," Sullivan said. "We made it around the same time, started yelling that he could run out. Shined a light, he just happened to come to me, I was the closest one, grabbed hold of him, walked him down the stairs."

Firefighters were able to knock down the fire quickly.

Officials said it appears the fire may have started in the kitchen of the apartment. The fire marshal is investigating the cause.

Damas is calling Sullivan a hero. Sullivan said he was just in the right place at the right time.

"I'm OK. I'm so glad the police guy was around here," Damas said.

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