Officer rescues man from burning home

March 6, 2009 2:53:16 PM PST
A quick-thinking police officer sprang into action early Friday morning, pulling a South Side resident from a burning home. Chicago Police Officer Timothy Gould is a reluctant hero, downplaying his role in the 4 a.m. fire at 7845 S. East End Avenue.

"I'm not a hero. The guys in the war are heroes," said Officer Timothy Gould, Chicago Police Department.

Officer Gould and his partner were responding to a domestic violence call when he noticed smoke seeping from a nearby home.

"I heard hollering in the back, 'Help me, help me.' So I said, 'Go to the back,'" said Officer Gould.

James Wesley, 68, said he became disoriented in the fire and could not find the key to his security door. Wesley said he had no way to escape. Then Officer Gould broke a window about 8-feet off of the ground and used a flash light to guide him from the smoke and flames.

"He came to the window, shining the light and said, "Come on out of there." And I couldn't move. So he crawled through the window and pulled me to the window," said Wesley.

"I said, 'Look for the light, look for the light. Where are you, where are you?' I said, 'start talking' because I couldn't see him it was so smoky in there. I got him on my back and we got him away from the building," said Officer Gould.

Wesley is recovering at a local hospital.

"I'm lucky to be alive. One of Chicago's finest officers was able to drag me out of there and save my life," said Wesley.

Wesley could be released as early as Saturday.

Officer Gould said he's glad Wesley is OK.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.