In a dramatic rescue yesterday, two Waukee police officers carried a woman to safety after she was trapped inside her burning home. While the family of the victim calls them heroes, the two officers say they were just doing their jobs.
“We gotta go up town. The house blew up,” says Shirley Petty.
Even 24 hours later, Petty still can’t believe what happened. A gas leak sparked an explosion splitting the house that she rents to her son and daughter-in-law in half.
Officers Bill Daggett and Derrick Spoerry were first on the scene.
“This is a house that exploded so it could explode again. It's on fire and it's not structurally sound,” says Daggett.
Without hesitation, the two ran inside. Spoerry kicked the front door open.
“We yelled into the residence, ‘Waukee police’. She had responded very faintly, ‘help me, help me,’” says Spoerry.
Tracy Petty couldn’t make it out on her own and the officers couldn’t see her in the thick smoke. Finding her was the longest 38 seconds of their lives and the three got out just in time.
“There was that gut check like you know what we just did, we could've died. If it had been five seconds one way, we would've been in that entry - in that turn in the entry way coming in towards the door when all of that flash fired,” says Daggett.
“They saved her life. She wouldn't have made it if they hadn't have been there,” says Petty.
While the thanks is appreciated, the officers say it isn’t necessary.
“I would rather it be my lieutenant having to explain to my wife why I'm not here or why I'm not in the hospital than having to live with I didn't go in the door and we didn't go get her,” says Daggett.
“It's just our job. I'm pretty sure any other officer would have done the same in that situation,” says Spoerry.
Tracy Petty agreed to talk to us, but later changed her mind. Her son says she is still in shock and the stress of what happened is too much for her right now. The Pettys are staying with family until they find a new place to live.