Lehi officers hailed for saving 4 from fire

Father, 3 children sleeping when policemen arrived
By Geoffrey Fattah and Sharon Haddock
Deseret News staff writers

LEHI Three Lehi police officers are being hailed as heroes Wednesday after rescuing three children and their father from a burning house late Tuesday night.

Three children and their father were rescued by Lehi officers from their home Tuesday night. The home, which had extensive damage, is likely a total loss.

Stuart Johnson, Deseret News
Lehi Police Chief Chad Smith said a passing motorist noticed flames coming from a home at 7932 N. 7320 West in Lehi just before midnight. She pulled into a nearby gas station/convenience store and alerted Officer Jeremy Elswood of the fire.
Elswood, Arron Meeks and Roger Openshaw then responded to the home to find the upper floor engulfed in flames and a family asleep, oblivious to the danger.
Smith said one officer ran to the front door and tried to kick the door in but failed. His kicks, however, awoke the father, Jerry Carter, who unlocked the door and let them inside. The home was flooded with smoke.
Once the father verified that children were sleeping inside, the three officers rushed in to rescue two young girls on the main level and an 11-year-old boy on the second floor.
Smith commended the bravery of his three officers, saying there was a likely chance that the family could have perished in the fire.
"I'm just so proud of their reaction, they didn't hesitate, they just rushed right in to get those kids," Smith said.
Smith said fire investigators were still trying to determine the exact cause of the fire, but added it appeared to have been around the home's chimney.
Lehi Sgt. Jeff Swenson said the officers were on the scene within moments and the fire department responded quickly, containing the fire fairly quickly.
The home sustained major damage, however.
"It's probably a total loss. The whole east side, probably about a quarter of the house, is gone." Swenson said. "But the officers did a great job. They definitely saved some lives."