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Published: Thursday, July 12, 2018 @ 5:03 PM
BETHEL TWP., CLARK COUNTY — An off-duty Springfield police officer who rescued a teenage boy from a house fire in Bethel Twp. Wednesday is dismissing hero claims and says he was simply at the right place at the right time.
“I was just lucky enough to be at the right place at the right time and happened to be paying attention,” said Officer Jason Bryon.
Byron made the initial 911 call when he saw black smoke and flames coming from the back of the Dogwood Road house.
“Honestly, anybody that’s in the public safety profession — EMTs, firefighters, police officers, sheriff’s deputies — anybody else that would’ve saw those flames like I did would’ve done the exact same thing when presented with the same scenario,” he said.
However, he initially didn’t think anyone was home.
“There were no cars in the driveway,” Byron said. “I started pounding on the door [and] didn’t get an answer...I honestly thought somebody was at work.”
But in a bedroom was a sleeping teenager who was unaware of the fire.
Byron kicked in the door and announced himself as he made his way through the home.
“I don’t know if it was me kicking the the door or actually announcing myself, but at some point he woke up and came out kind of disoriented,” Byron said.
“I think I was just as surprised to see him come out as he was to see me.”
The boy didn’t even realize the house was on fire until they were outside in the driveway and could see flames.
“I think he was a little bewildered at first,” Byron said. “But when we got outside in the driveway and he could actually see the house I think he was totally shocked. He immediately pulled out a cell phone and started calling family members.”
While Byron has not met the teen’s parents, he said family members have reached out to him on social media and thanked him for his actions.
Byron added that a second man noticed the flames and entered the residence shortly after him.
“I don’t know where this other guy came from or who he was but...maybe he could’ve gotten to [the teen],” Byron said.
He also gave credit to the fire departments from Bethel Township and Wright-Patt battlefield for saving the home.
“I honestly thought the house would’ve been a total loss,” Byron said. “The back of the house was fully engulfed in flames. I was surprised that they saved it. They did a tremendous job because it’s still standing.”