Star-News, Wilmington, N.C.
Feb. 10—WILMINGTON — One person has been airlifted to a burn center and two others, including a Wilmington Police Department officer, were treated for injuries following a fire Monday night.
The blaze happened in a duplex at 1011 S. Lincoln Ct. around 8:20 p.m. Monday.
Upon arrival, WPD officers Kyle Petrone and Bradley Speight attempted several times to break down the apartment’s steel door with the help of a citizen on the scene. While attempting to get inside, they also broke windows to try and let thick smoke out of the apartment to locate possible victims.
Petrone also reached through a window to try and unlock the door, but it was too hot to touch, according to a release from WPD.
The officers continued to kick the door in until they could gain entry, where the two WPD officers and a New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office deputy found an unresponsive 39-year-old female victim on the floor with severe burns, the release stated.
The victim was transported to the New Hanover Regional Medical Center with life-threatening injuries before being transported to North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center in Chapel Hill, where she’s currently being treated and remains in serious condition as of last night, according to WPD.
The citizen who assisted officers in breaking into the apartment was transported with minor injuries, and Petrone was transported and treated for smoke inhalation after entering the apartment without a breathing apparatus or other equipment.
“This is another example of our officers going above and beyond the line of duty,” WPD Chief Donny Williams said in a statement. “The easy thing to do would have been to stand back and wait for the fire department to arrive, but these men put their own safety at risk to save someone else’s life, and they didn’t hesitate for a second. They didn’t stop to think about that person’s race, gender, economic status — it didn’t matter. They took action, and I’ve seen that happen several times over the last few months.”
The cause of the fire is still under investigation by the Wilmington Fire Department.
Reporter Hunter Ingram can be reached at 910-343-2327 or Hunter.Ingram@StarNewsOnline.com.
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