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Officer, Dispatcher Credited With Saving Couple

Posted June 8, 2007

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— A police officer and a dispatcher were commended Friday for their quick actions, which likely saved the lives of a couple whose house was on fire.

Officer Scott Andreatta was on patrol at about 4:20 a.m. Friday when he smelled smoke in the area of Blanton Road, police said. He drove through the neighborhood and noticed a fire outside a residence.

Andreatta told dispatch to alert firefighters, and he ran to notify the homeowners. He rang the doorbell and banged on the door but got no response, so he began to put out the fire with a fire extinguisher from his cruiser, police said.

Dispatcher Malia Robinson obtained a phone number for the home and called, awakening Hoyt and Emily Randall. The couple, who are in their 80s, were able to get out of the house unharmed, police said.

Hoyt Randall even helped put out the fire by pulling the fuse to the home's air conditioning unit, which sparked the fire. Andreatta finished the job with a garden hose after using up his extinguisher.

"When I got that call that your house has a fire right in front of it, I got out of bed in a hurry," Randall said. "I tell you, it was pretty smoky and stinky around here."

The fire scorched boxwood bushes Randall planted around the house about 45 years ago, but the home escaped even minor damage.

Randall said he plans to write a letter to Andreatta to thank him for investigating the smoky smell and his efforts to put out the fire.

"A normal person would have thought Fort Bragg is burning underbrush again," he said. “He said, 'I decided to turn around,' and thank goodness he did, because if it would have got up (in the eaves), I would have lost a house.”

Andreatta couldn't be reached for comment Friday because he works the overnight shift.

"I want to be sure to commend that officer and give him an 'attaboy,'" Randall said.

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  • isabella731 Jun 10, 7:18 a.m.

    I hope that the officer is commended for what he did. As was said, a lot of people might have thought it was Ft. Bragg burning underbrush. The way the officer worked with the homeowner, and someone called to wake them up, God was definitely there. Finally, a good news story without all the sensationalism.

  • FROGGYLADY Jun 10, 3:15 a.m.

    god bless you both!!!

  • Kriterian Jun 9, 9:35 p.m.

    Good job Officer. I hope the have more like you if something happens to my family.

  • moose13 Jun 9, 9:21 p.m.

    It pays when people keep their eyes open!! It's great to see the good being done on the news!!!!:)

  • donewithecu Jun 9, 3:56 p.m.

    This is great to hear, something told the officer to go back rather then keep going. Good job to all that was involved.

  • none123 Jun 9, 2:42 p.m.

    Its nice to see some of the stuff we do everyday goes noticed. Good job to this officer and dispatcher for quick thinking and a pro-active response to a potentially deadly situation.

  • pwilliamson53 Jun 9, 2:38 p.m.

    Officer Andreatta, A job well done, and you will be blessed more than you know. And to the dispatcher for following through with getting a call to the owners, a job well done. Together you two saved two human lives..... Team Work!!!!!

  • gopanthers Jun 9, 2:25 p.m.

    @huntress - God sent Two Angel's.

  • Scarecrow Cow Jun 9, 1:52 p.m.

    THANK YOU, law enforcement! This is another example of how they work to save our lives every single day.

  • party pooper Jun 9, 1:52 p.m.

    Only 17, now 18 comments on this story. That proves a lot about the general public, unfortunately. Great job you two!

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