GARDEN CITY - Two Garden City police officers went above and beyond the call of duty when they rushed into a burning home and pulled a man to safety.
The fire on Sept. 8 destroyed the mobile home and left one of Jamie Randall's dogs dead. But he is alive today thanks to the swift heroics of Detective Jim O'Gorman and Officer Daniel Pierce.
"I'm very fortunate to be here," Randall said. "Just can't express enough gratitude. Any other scenario, I wouldn't be here."
Randall was asleep in the home when one of his dogs began barking, and woke him up.
"I got up to see what was going on," he said. "It was then that I noticed the front door was on fire. After that it just filled with smoke, it seemed like a matter of seconds. The entire house was just too hot, I couldn't breathe."
A neighbor called 911, and two Garden City police officers were the first to respond.
"We could see smoke coming from the house," said O'Gorman. "As I ran up, at that point, I could hear someone inside screaming for help."
That's when the officers sprang into action, grabbing a nearby step stool and using it to force open the door, which was blocked by a refrigerator. Det. O'Gorman found Randall laying on the floor.
"I was able to pull him out and hand him to Officer Pierce who was out here on the deck," he said.
Randall knows that without those officers, the ordeal would have ended very differently.
"I didn't have a whole lot of time left," he said. "They definitely saved my life."
Four dogs were also pulled from the house, but sadly, one of them - the one that woke Randall up - didn't make it. Randall was taken to a burn center in Utah suffering from first- and second-degree burns.
"We weren't sure for a while what his condition would be," said Pierce. "And we were just hoping he was going to pull through and make it."
As soon as he felt well enough, Randall went to the Garden City police station to say thank you.
"He brought a card to the station a couple days ago, and I have already told him it's probably one of the most treasured items I've ever received," said O'Gorman.
For these two officers, it was all in a day's work.
"I just think we were here at the right time," said Pierce. "We're just glad we could be here to help when the need arose."
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