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911 call of rescue from house fire

The following transcript of a 911 call reporting a Feb. 21 house fire in which a man rescued another man was provided by the Rochester Police Department.

Tom Owens, 50, of Rochester was headed home from his job at Mayo Clinic at about 3:15 p.m. on Feb. 21. When he turned into Country Club Manor, he could see smoke coming through the garage door of a house in the 400 block of 43rd Avenue Northwest. He investigated and rescued the occupant.

Dennis Cruz was asleep in his bedroom in the house when he woke up to the sounds of Owens' shouting and the dog's barking. Owens helped him out.

Here's the transcript of the call.

RPD: Rochester Police Dispatcher


MALE: Male Caller (Tom Owens)

UNK: Unknown Male in Background

(Indiscernible in background)

MALE: … fire!

RPD: Hello, nine one one, what's the address of the emergency?

MALE: Hi, we have a fire on 43rd Avenue in Country Club Manor …?

RPD: What's the home address?

MALE: Um … I just pulled up, I don't know …


RPD: Is it your house or someone else's?

MALE: No, it's someone else's, uh, 444 43rd Avenue Northwest.

RPD: 444 43rd Avenue Northwest? Is anybody in the home?

MALE: Yeah – yeah. (To background: Anybody home?)

RPD: Can you see flames?

MALE: Yeah, the garage is in total flames.

RPD: Okay.

(Dog barking in background)


MALE: (To background: Come on …)

RPD: Is the garage attached to the home?

MALE: I'm trying to get their dog outta here. (To background: Come on … anybody home?)

RPD: Okay, we've got the Fire Department on the way, okay?

(Indiscernible in background)

RPD: Okay, I need you to stay out of the residence, okay?

MALE: (In background: Hey, come on! Anybody in there?)



RPD: Talk to me. Hello?


MALE: I couldn't get the dog out.

RPD: Okay, what kind of dog?

MALE: It's a little white, uh …

RPD: Is the garage attached to the house?


RPD: Okay, thank you.


MALE: It's totally engulfed.

RPD: Okay, we don't know whether or not, uh, someone is inside?

MALE: I'm gonna check one more time …

RPD: Okay, I want you to stay out though …

MALE: … I've gotta get my …

RPD: … okay?

MALE: Yeah, I'm just gonna yell in the door … I don't think there was anybody in there.



MALE: (To background: Anybody in there? There's a – your garage is on fire! Is anybody else in there? You've gotta get out now! You've got-, you've gotta go outside, sir! Is anybody else in here?)

UNK: (In background: I don't think so.)

MALE: (To background: Come on, get outside then! Can you call your dog? Just come out, don't worry about that! Anybody else in there?)

(Indiscernible in background)

MALE: (To background: Well, how old is he?)

RPD: (In background: That structure fire there at …)

(Indiscernible in background)

MALE: (To background: And he's inside?)

RPD: I'm still on the phone with you, sir, okay?

(Indiscernible in background)

MALE: (To background: Anybody else in there?)


RPD: Sir …? Sir ...?

(Indiscernible in background)

RPD: How many occupants, can you tell? Ju-, can you te- (INDISCERNIBLE)?

MALE: (INDISCERNIBLE), he can't tell me what was going on.

RPD: Okay, so one occupant in the home? Yes or no, can you tell me?

MALE: (INDISCERNIBLE), one is outside and I don't know if there's anybody else in there!

RPD: Okay, can you ask the homeowner there?


RPD: You're doin' great, you're doin' great, we're gonna get through this, okay? (INDISCERNIBLE)

MALE: Yeah, the son is out front too … (To background: Come on.)

(Indiscernible in background)

MALE: I think everybody's out, he went around back to get his other dog.


RPD: Okay, sir?

MALE: Yep.

RPD: Okay, you did great, alright?

MALE: He's back out with his dog.

RPD: He is? He is outside?

MALE: Yeah, everybody's outside.

RPD: A-, okay, and, and you've, you've confirmed that with the homeowner?

MALE: Yeah.

RPD: How many occupants were they …?

MALE: (To background: There's just (INDISCERNIBLE), right? It was just you two, right?) Yeah.

RPD: Okay, all, all of them are outside?

MALE: Yep.

RPD: Okay, is the dog out or still inside?

MALE: Yeah, every (INDISCERNIBLE) is out.

RPD: And the dog, yes or no?

MALE: (To background: We've gotta (INDISCERNIBLE) this truck, are your keys in it?)

RPD: Sir, I need … can you talk to me, please?

MALE: Yeah.

RPD: Is the dog outside?

MALE: Yeah, everything's (INDISCERNIBLE) two dogs are out.

RPD: Okay, and then is the garage attached?

MALE: It is attached, yeah.


MALE: Yeah, it's completely engulfed. The house isn't affected quite yet but there's a car in front on fire, and a boat …

RPD: Okay, great, what's your name? What's your name?

MALE: Uh, Tom … Tom Owens.

RPD: Tom? How …

MALE: Yeah.

RPD: How do you spell your last name?

MALE: O-w-e-n-s.

RPD: Okay, yeah, you did great, um … what's a phone number for ya?

MALE: Um, cell phone 202-3772.

RPD: Okay, and Tom, you were just a, you were a passerby?

MALE: What's that?

RPD: You were a passerby?

MALE: Yeah, I was just driving home, I live a few blocks away and there was black smoke comin' out of the garage.

RPD: Okay – alright, and you said there is a vehicle in the driveway that's, uh, also on fire?

MALE: Yeah, the – yeah, it's engulfed now. (Pause) And it looks like the house is on fire now too.

RPD: Okay, which part of the house.

MALE: (INDISCERNIBLE), do you have an ambulance …? There's a …

RPD: Yep, we (INDISCERNIBLE) fire and ambulance … do they look like they need medical attention at all?

MALE: The one guy just got out of the hospital or somethin' 'cuz he's very confused so … but no injuries from the fire.

RPD: Oops, I'm sorry, one more time, hon? Can you tell me that one more time?

MALE: There are no injuries from the fire, he just got out of the hospital so I think he's weak from that, the neighbors are taking him up to their house.

RPD: Okay, alright, what address is, is the neighbor gonna take him to?

MALE: Um …

RPD: Is he elderly or …

MALE: They're on …

RPD: … handicapped or …?

MALE: Yeah, it's 444 … he's probably six feet … 468 44th Court.

RPD: It's … I'm sorry, forty … four what?

MALE: 44th Court Northwest.

RPD: Okay, what's the house number one more time?

MALE: That is, uh, 468.

RPD: 468, okay, we'll send the ambulance over there, thank you so much, Tom …

MALE: Yep.

RPD: … I'm gonna disconnected with you now, okay? Alright, bye bye.

MALE: Yep, bye.


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