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Florence officers save man from burning home; heralded as heroes

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Florence police officers get medical assistance after leaving the burning home

Florence police officers get medical assistance after leaving the burning home

FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) – A group of police officers are being heralded as heroes Tuesday.

At risk of harming themselves, Florence Patrol Officers Michael South, Tyler Melton, Tyler Oliver and Michael Price pulled an unconscious man from his Sannoner Avenue home which was burning at the time.

Oficer Michael South

Officer Michael South

Officer Tyler Melton

Officer Tyler Melton

Officer Tyler Oliver

Officer Tyler Oliver

Officer Michael Price

Officer Michael Price


Sergeant Randall Holt

Sergeant Randall Holt



Sergeant Randal Holt was waiting outside to begin first aid until Florence Fire & EMS arrived. Officers South, Price, Melton, and Oliver received medical treatment at the scene.

Fire investigators said the man is alive tonight because of the police officers quick action.

“Terror, Terror. You know, that’s your loved one,” explained Phillip Barton outside his burned out home on Tuesday afternoon.

Phillip Barton and his partner Kevin Holder were asleep at 1am when their fire alarms started wailing.

Barton said he managed to kick out a storm window and get to safety, while Holder headed to get there 6 pets.

While Barton was hollering for help, Holder succumbed to the smoke in a hallway.

Moments later police arrived.

“They truly are heroes,” stated Barton. “To run into a burning home that’s clearly in a good fire is a hero action.”

Heroes because the officers were able to kick in the front door and at risk to themselves, they entered the burning home looking for Holder.

After locating him, officers took turns pulling him to safety.

Once outside they were able to give him CPR until medical responders arrived.

“It was a team effort by those officers who were there and developed a plan under extreme conditions. I think it’s apparent that plan and their actions saved this man’s life,” stated Florence Police Department Deputy Chief Neal Rhodes.

And for their actions, Rhodes said he is recommending the officers receive the lifesaving medal from the police department.

Kevin Holder remains in critical care at ECM Hospital in Florence this evening.

Phillip Barton said police and firefighters were able to save all the pets, and they will be united with their owners later this week.

The following link is video from a responding officers dash camera.

*This Video Is Graphic In Nature And May Be Disturbing To Some Viewers*

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