Olathe police officer rescues yellow lab trapped by flames - KCTV5

Olathe police officer rescues yellow lab trapped by flames

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© Olathe Fire Department © Olathe Fire Department
© Eric Chaloux/KCTV5 © Eric Chaloux/KCTV5
Olathe officer Travis Shoemaker Olathe officer Travis Shoemaker

An Olathe police officer risked his life to rescue a family's yellow lab trapped in an inferno.

A neighbor frantically tried to rescue the family's lab, but the flames were too intense. He called 911.

Investigators say it was likely a space heater in the home office that caused the fire and caused about $150,000 in damage to the home.

Officer Travis Shoemaker was the first to arrive on the scene. He kicked in the door and plunged inside to save the dog, who was home alone. The smoke and fire became so intense that the officer had to drop to his feet and crawl to the couch where the lab was huddled.

Shoemaker then carried the dog to safety. The neighbor had thought two more dogs were inside the home, but they weren't.

However, the family's cat is missing.

The dog had soot on part of her fur and snout and some singeing of her fur, but is otherwise OK. Her tail waved high in the air as her owner led her in the snow away from the scene.

The Kansas City Star, KCTV5's reporting partner, said the dog's name is JJ.

The smoke pouring from the house was so thick that firefighters had to be careful not to hit each other's trucks. A flash of fire lit up the neighborhood at one point.

Firefighters are trying to salvage the homeowners' property and get all hot spots out. The homeowners will stay tonight at an Olathe hotel as part of the Olathe Fire Department's After the Fire program. The program also provides basic items like toiletries.

Olathe Fire Department crews were dispatched at 3:40 p.m. The house is at 850 S. Sheridan Circle, which is near Old Highway 56 and Interstate 35.

The cause remains under investigation, but authorities say the damage is extensive. No injuries were reported.

Kenna Burgoon said on KCTV5's Facebook page that she lives in the neighborhood and that Shoemaker wasted no time in kicking in the door and going to JJ's rescue. She thanked Shoemaker for his bravery.

"Officer Shoemaker was a true HERO. We told him we could hear a dog or dogs barking and the flames were roaring up the back side of the house and the smoke was sooo thick and intense we couldn't even get close to the front door, and Officer Shoemaker went to the front door and kicked in and went into the house," she wrote. "He didn't even give a second thought to kicking in the door and running inside, risking his own life to safe JJ."

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