RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC)– The Richmond Police Department is applauding two of their own after the officers rescued around 10 people that were staying at a motel in the city.
It was a busy Friday evening last week for Richmond Fire and EMS, which responded to three separate fires within one hour. The first of which was at the Richmond Inn on Midlothian Turnpike.
On Friday, Jan. 7, Steve Gibson and Ben Frazer had arrived at the motel at about 5:30 p.m. to search for a wanted suspect. The two officers have been employed with the Richmond Police Department for more than a decade and are members of the Third Precinct Focus Mission Team (FMT).
“Gibson and I have been partners for a long time,” Frazer said.
After kicking a door in, the officers realized the person inside had just called 911 to report a fire. The officers saw smoke and noticed a fire starting at the back of the motel.
“Our instincts kicked in and we rolled with it,” Gibson said.
The duo jumped into action and kicked in doors to rooms on the first and second floor as the fire quickly spread.
“I knew exactly what he was thinking, and he knew exactly what I was thinking,” Frazer said.
According to RPD, Frazer and Gibson ended up rescuing eight to ten guests who were staying at the motel.
“The average human being would have done the same thing,” Frazer said. “There’s a lot of good people in this world. You just got to do the right thing.”
Faith Flippo, captain of RPD’s Third Precinct, said the two officers could be eligible to receive a life-saving award. The department is currently in the process of taking nominations.
“They put themselves in danger to save others and our Richmond officers do that every day,” Flippo said. “This situation is nice that the two officers that got involved got recognized for it.”
The officers ultimately sent an emergency call for resources. Richmond fire crews arrived and officer Frazer was treated for smoke inhalation. All guests were evacuated from the motel.