GLENDALE >> Three Glendale police officers are being praised by local residents for rescuing a woman from the balcony of a raging house fire.
The fire was reported around 5:17 a.m. Monday in the 2000 block of Dublin Drive, according to Glendale Police Department spokeswoman Tahnee Lightfoot.
Members of the Glendale Police Department arrived before firefighters and quickly went to work, witnesses said. Quick-thinking officers borrowed a household ladder from someone in the neighborhood and plucked the woman to safety.
“The police showed up about two or three minutes after we called,” explained neighbor Patrick Baghdaserians, 34, on Monday afternoon.
“It was a total act of heroism. They grabbed a ladder from my neighbor’s house and put it near where the building was on fire,” Baghdaserians said.
The intense flames made the rescue effort more difficult, Baghdaserians said.
“As they were putting the ladder on the balcony, the surrounding of the balcony started to catch on fire. The hand rail was extra hot,” he said. “An officer put his hand on the rail and yelled because it burned his hand.” Officers then grabbed the woman over the rail and pulled her to safety.
“Ten seconds later the balcony exploded with flames,” Baghdaserians said.
The woman sustained non-life threatening injuries and was taken to an area hospital.
The officers suffered minor injuries and were also hospitalized. One was being treated at a burn center.
The woman’s dog, who neighbors said was named Hans, did not survive.
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According to area residents, the woman’s husband is out of the country. But most mornings they would see him walking the family dog.
He was a “very cute dog,” said Janet Soultanian, 34, who described Hans as a Labrador retriever mix.
Neighbor Sharis Ayazjoo, 29, said she woke up to “sirens” and later saw “pretty big” flames. She learned about what happened through the social media app Nextdoor, and heard the fire may have been caused by an electric heater.
“We were hit by a fire 17 years ago,” Ayazjoo said. “We evacuated this entire mountain. So when we hear of a fire we get PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).”
Another neighbor, Javier Guevara, 38, said he heard the woman screaming as police officers tried to rescue her.
“The officer was telling her she has to jump,” Guevara said.
Arson investigators were called to the scene, but the cause of the blaze was still being investigated.
No other homes were damaged.