Off-Duty Officers Rush into Burning Building

By Brent Smyth

Brent Smyth


22 Division

Off-duty officers from Toronto and York rescued a man from a burning building in early December. 

Toronto Constable Aidan Loughlin and York Regional Constable Justin Baird were leaving a restaurant in their hometown of St. Catharines when they noticed smoke in the air. They quickly located the a nearby building where flames were visible in the windows.

“I don’t remember even communicating with each other. We just started sprinting towards it,” Baird recalls.

They quickly urged all bystanders to call 9-1-1 before running inside. 

“I used to work downtown St Catharines, and a lot of it is a commercial storefront with residential above and all the doors are secured by a deadbolt,” said Loughlin, noting that no one appeared to have escaped the blaze. "And when I got to the door, the door was locked. There's nobody standing around outside, you know, saying, 'my God, my apartment's on fire.'”

He then kicked the door and ran inside with Baird on his heels.

“We went up the stairs. We found somebody was clearly in an unfortunate state. They're unable to help themselves, appear to be unconscious,” Loughlin continued. “We carried them out of the fire and were able to give them First Aid until the ambulance showed up.”

Both officers were treated for smoke inhalation, but had no serious injuries.

“Kind of surreal that we did that. We're not firefighters,” Baird reflected. “But I'm glad we did what we did because I truly believe if we didn't, then the man would not be alive.”




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