Birmingham police officer recalls saving woman from house fire - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

Birmingham police officer recalls saving woman from house fire

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Birmingham police officer Morris Garner rescued a woman from a house fire in the Center Point area on Sunday morning. Source: WBRC video Birmingham police officer Morris Garner rescued a woman from a house fire in the Center Point area on Sunday morning. Source: WBRC video
Two daughters died in a fire at this home in the 1500 block of 2nd Place Northwest. Source: WBRC video Two daughters died in a fire at this home in the 1500 block of 2nd Place Northwest. Source: WBRC video
BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

When Morris Garner joined the Birmingham Police Department seven years ago, he committed to serving his community. Early Sunday morning, that opportunity stared him in the face. He had just stopped for a cup of coffee when he heard the alert.

"I got a call, a signal 20, house fire," Garner remembered. "And the dispatcher said there were people trapped inside."

He left the coffee on the counter and rushed four miles to the scene. When he arrived at 1529 2nd Place Northwest, fire crews hadn't even gotten to the scene. He vividly remembers what he was confronted with.

"It was black smoke and the fire was blazing, rolling up in the sky. And I just said a little prayer."

Without hesitation, he ran toward the house and heard a woman screaming for help.

"And I ran up the handicap walkway and I could see someone blurrily in the living room of the house. So I told her come on out, and she's like, 'No. No. My daughter is in here, my daughter,'" Garner said.

But with flames licking at him just inches away, Garner knew what had to be done first.

"I immediately turned her around, grabbed her and proceeded to pull her out," he said.

As he did so, more officers arrived and tried to rescue the woman's daughters, but the flames were too intense.

"After that, we heard an explosion so we ran back to pull her farther away. I was thinking I couldn't save anybody else, but I really tried."

Garner is back on the street now. He's had time to reflect on his actions and doesn't consider himself a hero, but simply an officer and a father who relied on his training and his commitment to serve.

"You never know, it could be my family and I would expect someone to go in and what they could to get them to safety also," he said.

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