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Lyons officer's quick response to fire credited with saving lives

Published: Monday, April 1, 2013 1:40 p.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, July 25, 2014 4:52 a.m. CDT
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(By Joe Sinopoli - jsinopoli@shawmedia.com)
A Lyons officer's quick response is credited with saving lives. After noticing smoke and flames coming from a building in the 4500 block of Prescott Avenue, he ran inside and began evacuating tenants.

LYONS — An officer on patrol in the early morning hours of April 1 is credited with saving lives thanks to his quick response at the scene.

Officer Charlie Wright was on patrol at about 12:20 a.m. when he noticed heavy smoke and flames coming from a building in the 4500 block of Prescott Avenue in Lyons. Wright, a 30 year veteran of the department, notified police and fire officials and then began to evacuate residents from the building.

Wright entered the building and led a man and his child to safety outside. Other police and fire personnel also assisted in evacuating residents. A woman dropped her small child from a window to officers waiting outside and then was also rescued, the department reported.

"We're extremely proud of the actions of the officers on the scene," said Brian Kuratko, deputy commander for the Lyons Police Department.

Kuratko said the swift action of Wright and other personnel saved numerous lives.

In all, 11 people were evacuated from the building. Wright was later transferred to Loyola Hospital for smoke inhalation, but is now home and recovering, Kuratko said.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Police reported that the Red Cross is working to assist the displaced families as the building was deemed uninhabitable due to heavy smoke and water damage.

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