Every day across the Midwest, tens of thousands of firefighters and police officers put their lives in danger to protect others. While many stories go untold, sometimes they get the recognition they deserve. Such was the case of a Chicago officer Jason Fong and his partner, Raymond Baretto.
It was a day like any other; they were patrolling their beat on Monday, January 29th. Out of nowhere, a woman came running towards them screaming and crying. She was holding onto three small children and was visibly shaken. She told the officers that a home in the East Garfield Park neighborhood was engulfed in flames.
The officers were not suited up for this event, and they had no formal training in intense fire rescues. The smoke was so thick, and the fire was burning their skin as they entered the building. However, there were kids trapped inside. Fong said that all he could think about was his family and how he would want someone to help them. The smoke was thick and black, but these brave heroes were worried about the 5, 2 and 1-month old children inside.
Everyone made it out safely. The officers were overcome with smoke from the devastating fire. They were checked and released at Rush University Medical Center. Thankfully, no one was hurt in this fire. While the building was a total loss, the residents of 3900 West Congress Parkway will rebuild.
As for the officers, they are being honored as hometown heroes. Cops and firefighters often work together to save lives; however, without the right equipment or formal training for such a disaster recovery, it could have ended in tragedy rather than victory. Fong doesn’t want praise for doing what any other fellow officer should do. He knows their actions were made from split-second decisions, but he would do it again if given a chance.