Wheaton officer saves family from fire

A Wheaton police officer on routine patrol last week happened to drive up on something unusual that led to him taking quick action.
Wesley Kissinger, officer at Wheaton who plans to work for the McDonald County Sheriff’s Office in coming weeks, in the early morning hours Thursday, he was on Hurlbut Street making his way into town when he pulled up to a home that had flames shooting from the front porch.
“I looked up and saw the front of the house on fire,” he said. “I called in for the fire department, then left my vehicle and checked the sides and back of the house. There was one guy awake filling a bucket to dump on the flames, and another guy was about to call 911.”
Kissinger said one of the men informed him that his wife and two children, both under 8 years old, were asleep in the bedroom.
“I woke them up and got them out of the house and over to my patrol vehicle,” Kissinger said. “The Wheaton and Butterfield fire departments responded and had to get on the roof to put the fire out. I’m not sure how much damage there was inside the home.”
Kissinger said rolling up on a fire was a first for him.
“That has never happened before,” he said. “I’ve been dispatched to fires, but never had to call one in. The big thing for me is, the house can be replaced, but the people can’t. I’m just glad everyone got out safely.”
Kissinger extended special recognition to the two fire departments that responded.
“I want to recognize them for their great response time and great job putting that fire out,” he said.

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