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Body cam shows Tennessee police officer rescuing apartment residents from fire

Columbia officer fire rescue
Posted at 9:13 AM, May 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-13 12:34:15-04

COLUMBIA, Tenn. — Dramatic video released by the Columbia Police Department in Tennessee shows what first responders encountered at a fire Monday morning.

Officer Steven Schmidt is shown arriving to the fully engulfed Columbia Meadows Apartments on Brannon Court at 12:17 a.m. He grabs a fire extinguisher before running toward the burning building.

"Dispatch, I do still have people inside," Schmidt is heard saying on his radio.

Schmidt then breaks a window and climbs into a first-floor apartment. Inside, he rescues several people and one dog.

"I'm going to help you out the best I can," Schmidt can be heard saying to a woman in the apartment.

Residents said they heard the commotion.

"I woke up to screaming and yelling, people crying," said Corey Walker. "One lady was screaming, 'Help me! Help me!' And a couple people were running, beating on windows."

Walker pulled his mother and dog to safety as the fire burned out of control a few doors down. He said the first responders acted heroically.

"It was very strategic. It wasn't nobody just rushing and everybody gaggled everywhere. It was very organized," Walker said.

In the end, three people were transported to the hospital. Columbia Fire & Rescue is investigating the cause of the fire.

This story was originally published by Hannah McDonald at WTVF.