Make them famous: Georgia officers touted as heroes after saving residents from house fire

Make them famous: Georgia officers touted as heroes after
saving residents from house fire 1

CHEROKEE COUNTY, GA – Four Canton Police officers are being touted as local heroes after having rescued numerous residents from a house fire back in June, getting several people to safety before firefighters arrived on the scene.

Officials say that the fire broke out at approximately 3:30 a.m. on June 2nd in the Hidden Creek Subdivision in Cherokee County. Reportedly several homes had caught fire by the time Canton Police officers Michael Caplan, Jesse Lee and Domenick Marotta and Sgt. Taylor Lilley arrived on scene of the blaze.

Prior to firefighters arriving, the officers had pulled several people over a fence that were trapped in a backyard during the fire, then went door-to-door to get other residents out of their homes.

St. Lilley and Officer Lee were credited with physically carrying an elderly woman, who couldn’t walk on her own, over to a safe area during the incident.

A statement released by the Canton Police Department referred to the four officers as “brave” in their selfless efforts to get locals to safety during the fire:

“These brave officers continued to go house to house to remove residents who were in danger of being killed by the fire. They acted without concern for themselves in the face of danger as they strived to protect the lives of the residents.”

A total of three homes were destroyed in the fire, with three others having been damaged. All of the officers were honored for their valiance during a city council meeting held on July 15th.

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In other recent police rescues, officers in Kentucky were able to quickly recover an abducted 6-year-old girl, thanks largely to observant witnesses that gave police the intel needed to track the suspect down. 

Here’s that previous report from earlier in July. 


LOUISVILLE, KY – On July 2nd, a 6-year-old girl was reportedly snatched off of her bicycle in broad daylight and placed into a red sedan.

Luckily, neighbors witnessed the abduction and led authorities to the vehicle, where bodycam footage showed the moments when a Louisville Metro Police officer recovered the victim.

Police arrested 40-year-old Robby Wildt on July 2nd, with the suspect having since been charged with kidnapping for the incident involving the abducted girl.

According to reports, Wildt had been observed by several witnesses within the 4700 block of Haney Way in Valley Station around 5:40 p.m. driving a red sedan and took the young girl off of her bike and placed her into his vehicle.

Prentiss Weatherford was one of those witnesses, which he described to local news outlet WAVE 3 what took place during the incident:

“I was looking down the road, [and] a car came around the corner from the stop sign, parked in the middle of the street. He got out.”

“[There was] a little girl in front of her car on her bicycle. He just grabbed her by the collar, threw her bike, threw her in the passenger’s seat, made his way on down the road.”

Weatherford and his father Terry acted quickly, following the suspect’s vehicle and being able to get the last three digits of Wildt’s license plate before the suspect sped off.

With the information obtained by the witnesses, police were able to locate Wildt’s vehicle a short distance away from where the victim was kidnapped. The young girl was inside of the passenger seat of the vehicle, thankfully unharmed.

Of the responding officers at the scene, Sgt. Joe Keeling was credited with placing Wildt under arrest, while Officer Jason Burba is seen on bodycam footage taking the young girl out of the passenger side of the suspect’s vehicle.

The young girl can be heard crying as Officer Burba pulls her out of the car, saying “I want my daddy”.

In an interview with radio station WHAS, Sgt. Keeling gave credit to the witnesses’ description of the vehicle that helped authorities track down the suspect so quickly.

Apparently, Wildt had admitted to authorities that he kidnapped the young girl, but proclaimed that he had intentions to take her back home because he was worried that he “may hurt her” and that “he felt bad for doing what he had done”, according to officials.

LMPD spokesperson Beth Ruoff says that this incident serves as an important reminder for parents to teach their children about “stranger danger”:

“Although we do not want the community to be alarmed, this is certainly an educational opportunity for parents to remind their children that ‘stranger danger’ is real. It is important to talk to your kids about any adult who tries to use a ruse to lure them to their vehicles or away from public view.”

When recounting the incident and response, Officer Burba stated that with calls such as the one in question, seconds can feel like hours when trying to get to the scene:

“You just can’t get there fast enough. Seconds feel like hours. Your only thought is getting there as fast as you can.”

Sgt. Keeling stated that the moment the young girl was recovered, hearing her crying for her father “was definitely a gut check”:

“It was overwhelming. Especially when you hear her crying and asking for her family because she’s so scared. It was definitely a gut check.”

Wildt was booked into Louisville Metro Corrections and is currently being held on a $1 million bond.

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LET Unity

In Phoenix, Arizona, police recently rescued a 2-year-old boy that was accidentally locked inside of a minivan while sitting outside in the high-heat of the Arizona summer. 

Here’s that previous report from earlier in July. 


PHOENIX, AZ- Body camera footage captured the moment when two Phoenix police officers helped free a 2-year-old boy locked in a vehicle in the hot, Arizona sun. Watch below:

According to reports, even after police broke through a window of the door to a hot car where a 2-year-old boy was burning up fast in his car seat, the door would still not unlock. In response, Phoenix Officer Michael Coddington gave his partner, Officer Mike Mehlhouse a boost.

Officer Mehlhouse was able to crawl through the broken window to get to the crying toddler. He described what it was like to lift the boy from his car seat and hand him safely back over to his very relieved mother. Mehlhouse said:

“It’s such a helpless feeling, I can imagine, that she was feeling. I felt horrible for her and I felt horrible for the child. I’m just grateful to be out there and be able to help.”

Authorities confirmed that the boy’s mother had just returned from the grocery store and was about to haul the toddle and bags into the house when she accidentally locked herself out of the minivan. Officer Coddington said:

“After he was checked out, it was great to see he was playing with his Legos and having a good time, so it was great to see that resolution.”

Two days prior to this incident, Phoenix police rescued two other children trapped in a hot car. This incident was similar to the other one, with the mother locking her keys inside of the vehicle. Both incidents happened while Maricopa County was under an excessive heat warning.

In a Facebook post, officials said:

“Phoenix officers acted just in time to save the lives of two children this week whose mother accidentally locked her keys in the car.”

An officer went ahead and broke the passenger side window and the crying children were rescued. On that day, Phoenix recorded a high temperature of 111 degrees. The National Safety Council said:

“An average of 38 kids die each year from heatstroke after being left in a vehicle.”

In their Facebook post, Phoenix Police Department added:

“Please take extra caution as we continue to experience extreme heat.”

According to, a group that tracks reports of child heat deaths, so far in 2021, seven children have died in hot cars across the country. First responders want to keep that number as close to zero as possible. Mehlhouse said:

“There’s never a quick enough moment to leave your child in the car. In this heat, even a couple minutes is not OK.”

In New Jersey, an Island Heights police officer rescued a child from a hot car and then arranged to help pay for the window he was forced to break. The child’s mother called 911 to report that she accidentally locked her car with the keys inside of it after securing her child in the car seat.

Officer Rocco Mellott arrived on scene and called for first aid as a precaution and dispatched a tow truck to unlock the doors. However, when he saw the child starting to sweat on the warm summer day, he decided to take quicker action.

After getting approval from the mother, Mellott broke the driver’s side front window and removed the child, who was checked by emergency responders and found to be OK.

When the grateful mother told Mellott she would have trouble getting the money together for a new window, the officer made a few calls and not long after the Island Heights PBA Local 352 and the Island Heights First Aid Squad offered to donate enough money to replace the window. 

In Jacksonville, Florida, one woman has been arrested after leaving two children inside a hot car while she shopped at the Pavilion at Durbin Park. According to authorities, 31-year-old Ronnasia Ferrell has been charged with felony child neglect without great bodily harm. 

Deputies and fire rescue responded to the Burlington Coat Factory parking lot where the two children were observed unattended inside a vehicle. Fire rescue reported that the car had not been running when they arrived on scene and that one of the children was showing signs of “distress”.

The children were reportedly left inside the vehicle for nearly 2o minutes on a day where police noted that the temperature outside that afternoon was 91 degrees.

When questioned, Ferrell, who deputies said had been shopping inside Burlington at the time, was arrested after she could not offer an explanation to why she left the children alone. 

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