Sault Ste. Marie Police Officers Recognized for Life-Saving Actions in October Fire

“Hold your breath! Alright come out, give me your hand.”

A dramatic rescue caught on camera: police officers smashing their way through a glass block window to pull two people from the basement of a burning home.

Monday the officers involved in the rescue received a lifesaving commendation for their actions.

The fire happened back in October at a home on Young Street in Sault Ste. Marie.

Two teenagers were trapped in the basement.

Officers Shane Hill and Marcel Coullard managed to break their way through glass blocks, pulling the two out.

Monday those actions that earned special recognition.

“When we got the call, we were the first ones on scene,” Coullard said.

Officers Hill and Coullard quickly learned of two people trapped in the basement with no way out. So they started smashing.

“I need an axe or shovel or something,” Coullard said

Using a door ram from a patrol vehicle, they did not give up

On Officer Coullard’s body cam, you can hear the intense moment they were able to break through.

“Help me! Come this way. Watch your eyes. Can you get out? Alright backup, backup, backup, backup! Hold your breath. Alright come out. Give me your hand.”

The officers were in more danger than they knew. Just 20 feet away from where they worked to free the two people was a large welding gas tank, which you can hear exploding as they walk away.

“We’re just really glad, that’s number one, to make sure the people got out of that house alive. We’re just glad we were there when we were so,” Coullard said.

“On behalf of the Sault Ste. Marie PD, I am honored to present to you the department’s life-saving commendation,” chief John Riley said.

Chief Riley honored officers Hill and Coullard with life-saving commendations at the city council meeting.

Officer Jake Nicholson joined them for a unit commendation for their teamwork, a first in the history of the department.

The chief played the extreme body cam footage or the first time publicly, to gasps.

And two Sault Ste. Marie officers who didn’t flinch when seconds counted.

The two teens rescued from the basement spent the night in the hospital, and were released the next day.