Deputies Rescue 83-Year-Old Woman from House Fire

NEWS RELEASE #: 17-026

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Three Sarasota County Sheriff Office deputies are credited with saving the life on an elderly woman trapped inside her home during a house fire in Sarasota on Friday night.

Deputies were first called to 2664 24th Street around 10:15 p.m., for reports of a home engulfed in flames with residents trapped inside. Deputies James Crosby and Lindsey Fischer were first to arrive and after learning an elderly woman was inside the home, both deputies began attempting to break down the back door. With assistance from an unidentified Good Samaritan, Deputy Crosby and the bystander broke through a bathroom window allowing Deputy Crosby to enter the residence. Due to heavy smoke, Crosby exited the home only to re-enter moments later with the assistance of Deputy Michael Buehler. Deputy Fischer helped clear an exit while Crosby and Buehler rescued the 83-year-old and brought her to safety to perform CPR. The victim was transported by helicopter and Deputy Crosby to a local hospital, as a precaution for smoke inhalation. All three deputies were able to clear the home prior to arrival by the Sarasota County Fire Department.

"Regardless of the type of call that comes in, during an emergency, we are all first responders," said Sheriff Tom Knight. "These deputies exhibited a true act of heroism by walking into uncertainty without a moment of hesitation. Each are outstanding representations of the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office and have proven their commitment to the safety of the citizens they serve."

Deputies Buehler and Crosby both began their careers at the sheriff's office in April 2015. Deputy Fischer was hired in September 2016 and on Friday, was working her third shift since being released from field training. Nominated by their supervisor to receive the sheriff's office Heroic Achievement Award, all three deputies are anticipated to be formally recognized in coming months.