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Deputy rescues elderly man from apartment building on fire

Smoke was filling the room and hallways as first responders moved in to rescue residents.

ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. — Thanks to the quick actions of an Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office (ACSO) deputy, an elderly man was rescued from a burning apartment building Wednesday morning.

Deputy Armando Gutierrez was one of the first responders on the scene at 1306 S. Parker Road. As he ran into the building, someone shouted there was a person trapped in one of the apartments.

“As soon as I opened the door, there was smoke all over that hallway,” he recalled. “I yelled because I couldn’t see. Started flashing my light. I said, ‘Hey, who needs help?’”

Gutierrez’s body camera video shows him walking into one of the rooms, where he found an elderly man in need of assistance. Even though he tried to tell the man to leave with him, Gutierrez said the man was frozen still – and didn’t speak English.

“Seems like he’s in shock,” he said. “That’s when I go and grab him and pull him out of the apartment and out to the lobby.”

Gutierrez said he later learned the gentleman was 93 years old. After being treated on-site by paramedics, Gutierrez said the man was taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation.

Deputies and other first responders helped more people and pets out of the building. South Metro Fire Rescue reported that one other person was taken to the hospital and 10 people were treated on the scene. Investigators believe the fire was an accidental cooking fire.

Gutierrez has been with the Sheriff’s Office for five years. On Wednesday afternoon, he said there have been other rescues during his career, but it's always nice to have “a good day.”

“It feels good,” he said. “It’s the kind of a thing we all sign up for, is to make a difference every day. And the days we get to do it – it feels even better.”



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