EUREKA, Mo. (KMOV.com) – Eureka police officer Tim Shipp was honored Tuesday for his bravery after he ran into a burning home to save a woman trapped inside.
Shipp said he was working a secondary job as security at a business on January 26 when he overhead a call on the scanner about a house fire nearby. Shipp decided to respond to the call because the home on South Fox Creek Lane was only about a quarter mile away and dispatchers at the time were not yet sure if anyone was trapped.
Two residents and a police officer were taken to the hospital with smoke inhalation following an overnight fire on S. Fox Creek in Eureka.
When he arrived the home was fully engulfed. He called out over the loudspeaker from his vehicle asking if anyone was still inside and said a family member told him 67-year-old Jean Anderson was trapped. Firefighters had not yet arrived.
“I could hear her calling from the back of the house where I was and I decided like I said because I was close that I needed to act, I couldn’t just wait around,” said Shipp.
A neighbor who also ran over to help, assisted in getting into the home. Shipp then crawled on his hands and knees trying to find Anderson.
“Smoke was very thick. I was able to crawl down onto the bottom of the ground and see about a foot in front of me,” said Shipp.
Anderson’s son and husband were in the front of the home when the fire started. Her son caught on fire, but both were able to get out of the home. Anderson had been asleep in the back of the home. She wears a prosthetic leg and was unable to get out of the home because the smoke was so thick.
“I thought, ‘If I can’t get out I hope my family is okay,” said Anderson. “I thought, ‘If I don’t get out of here, I’m going to be dead,’ because I was at the point where I couldn’t breathe, I had my pajamas over my mouth but I still couldn’t breathe.”
All of a sudden she heard Shipp’s voice.
“He just yelled, ‘Raise your hand and I’ll find you!” said Anderson. “He grabbed my arm and he drug me all the way the out.”
Her family’s home of 47 year was all but destroyed, but she is thankful she and her family survived thanks for Shipp.
“If it wasn’t for him… he saved my life,” said Anderson.
Shipp was honored at Tuesday’s Eureka Board of Aldermen meeting for his bravery. The police chief awarded him the Medal of Valor for risking his own life to save someone else’s.
“I do think about it a lot, about what could have happened, it does make me feel good that I was able to help out,” said Shipp.
Anderson said she and her family plan to rebuild the home.
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