- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 22, 2015

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Five people have been rescued from a house fire in Omaha on what turned out to be an Omaha rookie police officer’s first day of training patrol.

The Omaha World Herald (https://bit.ly/1NADypL ) reports that Officer Anthony Abboud and his trainer, Officer Robbie Goering-Jensen, were discussing the importance of being able to quickly change direction Sunday, when Goering-Jensen spotted a house fire.

Goering-Jensen and Abboud called firefighters and responded to the fire. Goering-Jensen went inside the burning home and rescued Robert Damper, his wife, Lula, and their three sons.

Goering-Jensen, who trained as a firefighter with the Nebraska Air National Guard, says he could only see about 2 or 3 feet in front of him when he went back inside the home for a second time to rescue one of the sons. He says that’s when he heard a woman calling from a bedroom in the back of the house and he had to assess “my own limitations” and decide whether to immediately respond or to wait for the Omaha Fire Department.

“In all honesty, I did have some internal struggle with it,” Goering-Jensen said.

Ultimately, the officer went inside the burning home for a third time and rescued Lula Damper.

Investigators say an uncovered light bulb hanging too close to clothes in a closet started the fire.

Abboud said he did not think he would be involved in something like that on his first day, but gave all the credit to Goering-Jensen.

“Robbie deserves all the credit,” Abboud said. “I was just driving the vehicle, and I just helped him from the outside (of the house). It was a very surreal day.”


Information from: Omaha World-Herald, https://www.omaha.com

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