Heroic Deputies Recount Rushing Into Burning Apt. Building

KENTWOOD, Mich. — The Kent County Sheriff’s Department is commending six deputies for their brave actions early Monday morning during a fire at Woodfield Apartments.

Deputies Kevin Daley, Jason Postma, Ed Kolakowski, Julie Vogelzang, Joel Langeland and Andrew Jonkman arrived at the scene before firefighters and rushed in after hearing that there may still be people trapped inside.

“We were there, we had to take action,” explained Deputy Kevin Daley. “All six of us went in…it wasn’t a thought, it was I know we have to go up there.”

The group crawled through the thick smoke to get upstairs, where they were able to find and rescue a family of four from inside their apartment.

The deputies, along with the four residents had to be treated for smoke inhalation but they are expected to be OK.

Watch the video above to hear the deputies recount what happened.

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6 comments

  • J.D.

    There is a reason we have police and we have fire. Each are trained and equipped to provide a different service to the public. While what they did may have been selfless, they're lucky they didn't become overwhelmed by the smoke themselves. Then there would have been six more victims to rescue. Smoke in today's dwellings is far more toxic that it used to be and can incapacitate a person much quicker than it used to. Selfless act, but not smart at all for a group of people who are supposed to be highly trained.

  • MRK

    Well they did us training and it appears they got the job done. Even if they had the correct equipment things could have gone wrong. GREAT JOB OFFICERS

  • DRD

    Mlive reports the family was on the balcony. Why did they make them run back through the smoke instead of waiting on the balcony for a ladder from the fire department?

  • MRK

    DRD….THINK ABOUT IT….THE BALCONY IS SMALL. THE FIRE DEPT NOT ON SCENE YET AND NOT LONG BEFORE FLAMES WOULD HAVE MADE IT TO THE LIVING AREA PUSHING MORE BLACK SMOKE AND FIRE TO THE BALCONY….IT TAKES TIME TO UNLOAD EQUIPMENT OFF THE TRUCKS…THIS IS NOT A MOVIE….IF PEOPLE DO NOT WORK IN LAW ENFORCEMENT THEY SHOULD KEEP COMMENTS TO THEMSELVES. THESE OFFICERS ARE GREAT PEOPLE AND IT APPEARS THEY KNEW WHAT THEY WERE DOING THEY ALL SAFE

  • MRK

    I WORK IN LAW ENFORCEMENT AND UNDERSTAND THE OPERATIONS OF THE FIRE DEPT AGAIN IT TAKES TIME TO RESPOND. POLICE ARE ON PATROL AND MUCH CLOSER THAN THE FIRE DEPT. IF THE POLICE WOULD HAVE WAITED AND STOOD OUTSIDE AND WAITED THEY WOULD HAVE BEEN CHASTISED JUST AS YOUR ARE DOING BECAUSE THEY WENT IN. POLICE HAVE TO TAKE RISKS EVERYDAY AND UTILIZE THE EQUIPMENT THAT THEY HAVE AT HAND. AGAIN JOB WELL DONE BY THE BRAVE OFFICERS.