When a Taunton police officer left the station for a routine patrol Wednesday night, he didn’t expect to save a family from a burning building.
But that’s exactly what happened shortly after he spotted smoke while driving in his cruiser.
The incident happened at around 10 p.m. Officer Jeffery Danner reported the smoke to the fire department and then followed it to a neighborhood, where he saw a two-story house in flames, said Taunton Police Sergeant William Henault, who recounted the incident.
Danner got out of his cruiser and pounded on the front door. No one answered and the door was locked. Then he went to the side entrance and pounded again. No one answered.
“He kicked out the glass door,” said Henault.
When Danner entered the home, he discovered a 27-year-old mother. The pounding on the door had awakened her.
“He informed her that the rear of the house was engulfed in flames,” said Henault.
The pair ran upstairs to get her 9-year-old son, who was sleeping. They also grabbed the family dog, a Shih Tzu.
Once Danner and the family were out of the house, fire officials arrived on the scene. Danner told Henault that firefighters responded quickly and had the fire under control in about 15 minutes.
“They were able to save most of the house,” said Henault.
Danner has been with Taunton police for four years, after transferring from another department.
“He’s a good man,” said Henault.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.