Officer's courageous decision saves life in house fire

It was an area without power and residents struggling to stay warm on the day after Christmas, when flames erupted from a Benton home.

The split-second decision made by an arriving police officer, puts this house fire in a whole different perspective.

Two women were trying to stay warm, so they started a fire in the fireplace of their home, but soon another blaze started in the chimney. Immediately, both of their lives were in jeopardy.

"The entire I believe attic was fully engulfed, fully involved with fire," said officer Chris Goss with Benton Police Department. "Thick black smoke was coming out of every crevice of the house."

Next door neighbor Vincent Duke heard the fire alarm from the home, but wasn't able to get inside.

"We came out and it was already in a cloud of smoke," Duke said. "My wife hollered 'old people are over there, run over there.' My son-in-law and my daughter ran over there."

One of the ladies in her 50s managed to get out of the home, but then officer Goss learned the woman's bedridden mother was trapped on the backside of this house.

He said he only had one choice: to go inside after her.

"It was very hard to breathe at that time, like I said it was thick, black smoke," Goss told about entering the home. "I had to crouch down until about the hallway, and then I had to get back on my hands and knees."

"You heard crackling popping, and you could see fire coming from the kitchen, so I didn't have very much time to waste," he continued.

Goss' didn't waste time getting he and the elderly woman out safely, and comes away with the mission of just doing his job.

"The main point is just to get somebody out. The house can be replaced, but people can't," Goss said.

Another miracle in this story, is Goss actually had to take the back way out of the house because his original entrance had been overtaken by flames.

Police said neither of the women suffered any injuries from the fire.