Sgt. Kerstan Tatro with the Gulf Breeze Police Department is no stranger to heroism.
The Gulf Breeze Police Officer went viral after dash cam footage of him being injured during a traffic stop last year made national headlines.
Even after recovering from his injury during the traffic stop, Tatro, along with Gulf Breeze Police Officer Jermel Kidd, didn’t hesitate to help save a handicapped woman from a house fire last Thursday morning before firefighters could even arrive on scene.
Tatro, who was the first officer on scene at the house fire at the 30 block of Highpoint Drive, saw the fire and immediately jumped into action.
The incident report, transcribed up by Kidd, explained just how effortless Tatro was risking life and limb trying to get the resident out of the home at 12:30 a.m. that morning.
“Upon arrival, I observed the front of the house to be fully engulfed in fire, and Sgt. Tatro attempting to make entry into the front of the house,” the report stated.
With Tatro, was the fire victim’s caregiver who was attempting to help the officer enter the home to save the woman trapped inside.
The report stated that Tatro kicked the front door, but was unable to enter the home, so Tatro, along with Kidd and the caretaker, went to the back of the home.
Both police officers attempted to break the glass sliding door with no success as black smoke filled the home.
“When police got there, flames were already shooting through the roof,” said Gulf Breeze Fire Chief Shane Carmichael, who witnessed the two officers and caretaker attempting to pull the woman from the home. “There was a victim inside of the home, and she was handicapped and unable to get out of the bed. The police and the (other individual) were able to get her out before we arrived.”
The incident report indicated that after multiple attempts to break the glass sliding door, the caretaker made a risky move and jumped through the door.
The caretaker was able to pull the victim to the broken glass door and both officers pulled the woman and the caretaker to safety.
The handicapped resident was the only person inside of the home when the blaze started. The resident did however lose a cat and a dog in the blaze.
“She did lose the two animals in the fire,” Carmichael said.
When the two officers and the caretaker pulled the victim from the home, she was not breathing, the incident report indicated.
The officers laid the victim on the grass, and Carmichael said his firefighters jumped into action and provided oxygen for the resident until EMS arrived to transport her to the hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation.
“Once she (victim) was taken out, we treated her and transported her to (a local) hospital,” Carmichael said. “She was treated for smoke inhalation and got out Saturday.”
According to the incident report, the victim was originally transported to Gulf Breeze Hospital, but was later taken to Baptist Hospital in Pensacola to recover from the inhalation.
During the rescue efforts, Tatro burned his right arm and transported himself to Gulf Breeze Hospital to be treated for the burns, the incident report indicated.
He was later released from the hospital after being treated for his injuries.
Carmichael said the fire appeared to have started in one of the rooms inside of the home. The blaze quickly spread to a nearby tree and damaged the outside of the neighboring home.
Pensacola Beach, Midway, City of Pensacola, and West Pensacola Fire departments all provided assistance fighting the blaze, along with Gulf Breeze Fire Department.
The State Fire Marshal is investigating the incident, which displaced the resident.
The home was a total loss.
Carmichael said that he heard from someone that the State Fire Marshal believes the fire started from a hoverboard that was in one of the rooms inside of the home.
South Santa Rosa News reached out to the State Fire Marshals Office to confirm the rumor, but the office did not return numerous phone calls as of press time to comment on the allegation.