CLINTON, MD -- A Prince George's County Police officer was recognized Friday afternoon, for getting a family of six, including a three-week-old baby, out of their burning home earlier that day.
"I feel good that I was there, luckily I was there. Happened to be in the right area at the right time," said Cpl. Glen Caradori of the experience. Caradori said he was doing a routine patrol near Symposium Way & Libation Ct when he noticed an orange glow, which he first believed to be a bonfire. "As I got closer, I noticed the rear deck of the house was completely engulfed in flames along with the rear of the house."
Fire investigators believe the blaze was caused by a barbecue grill on the back deck.
Caradori said he figured people were inside because there were several cars in the driveway, but he couldn't get in the home. He eventually started banging on the front door, before breaking a window next to the door so he could let himself in.
The banging on the door did wake up Bryana Brownlee, 19, who was sleeping downstairs along with her three-week-old baby and her sister.
"He finally broke down the glass and was like, ‘Get out the house, the house was on fire.’ And once we, I like, grabbed my son, I grabbed my phone, I grabbed my charger and I just ran out the house," said Brownlee. She added that moments after the family got outside, the house started to fall apart. "The ceiling started to fall from the back and then it just came straight to the front of the living room."
Brownlee added that the smoke alarms in the home never went off and if it weren't for Caradori's quick action, she doesn't think her parents and brother, who were on the top floor, would have survived.
"I’m so happy that he did what he did. Because of him we’re all still here," said Brownlee.
For Caradori's part, he said he was just doing his job.
"These officers, we get out there, put our lives on the line everyday and sometimes it’s thankless. And something like this hits home to us and the other officers because we got to participate in something where we saved six lives," said Caradori, who added that this was not the first time he's been involved in this type of rescue. He said he helped rescue one person from a burning home in Oxon Hill, Md. in 2000.
Video of the house fire is courtesy of the Prince George's County Police Department.