Local News

Police Officer Rescues Fayetteville Woman From Burning Home

Posted November 13, 2002

— A police officer who responded to a house fire in Fayetteville Wednesday morning is being called a hero.

Officer Todd Tokotch was the first to arrive at the house fire at 1120 Progress Street. He reported the home was fully engulfed in flames and there was heavy smoke.

As he got out of his vehicle, Tokotch heard a woman yelling from inside the home. She was near a broken window at the back of the home.

Using a portable baton, Tokotch broke out the window and pulled Tatia Blossom, 36, to safety.

Before the officer arrived, Blossom managed to get her daughter out of the house through the window. She said as the flames got worse, she did not know if she would make it out herself.

"There was so much smoke coming in so fast, it was to the point I had gotten real weak," she said.

Blossom told the officer that her husband, Charles, was still inside.

Tokotch kicked in the front door. As he and two other officers prepared to enter the burning home with fire extinguishers, they deemed it too dangerous to enter.

It turned out Charles Blossom, 56, was already out of the house. Another child was outside as well.

Tokotch is a former Fayetteville firefighter.

"In two-and-a-half years as a firefighter, I never got to pull anybody out of a burning building. After three years as a police officer, I finally was able to rescue someone like that. It's pretty exciting," he said.

Blossom said when she saw Tokotch at her window, she thought he was an angel.

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