Metro Transit Police officers recognized for bravery
Officers rescue residents from burning building
Five Metro Transit Police Department (MTPD) officers were recognized by the Metro Board of Directors and General Manager today (May 27) for their bravery and heroism. Officers Christopher Fulda, Anthony Reefer, Jaime Lopera, Cleaton Battle and Reginald Russell rescued people from a burning building near the Naylor Road Metrorail station on April 9.
MTPD Officer Fulda was on duty at the Naylor Road Metrorail Station when he heard a loud explosion around 9 p.m. A short time later he heard a second explosion and saw a set of balcony doors on the fourth floor of a nearby condominium blown out by flames.
After notifying MTPD communications of the incident, Officer Fulda heard a woman screaming for help and saw another woman yelling for help from the fifth floor of the condominium. Officer Fulda rushed to the building and kicked in the front door, which was blocked, enabling residents to exit. He climbed to the fifth floor and found an elderly woman on the floor of a smoke-filled apartment. He picked her up and carried her down the stairs and outdoors to safety.
As he re-entered the building, MTPD Officers Reefer, Lopera, Battle and Russell arrived on the scene. The five officers worked their way through the building, knocking on each door to alert the residents of the fire and assisting residents as they evacuated. On the fifth floor, Officers Lopera and Fulda rescued a resident in a wheelchair, carrying her down the stairs to safety. The officers remained on scene to assist even after the fire department arrived.
“Although these officers will tell you that they were just doing their jobs, we thank them for their heroism,” said Metro Transit Police Chief Michael A. Taborn.
News release issued at 12:52 pm, May 27, 2010.