Gaston County officer speaks out after saving elderly woman from fire

- A local police officer rescues an unconscious elderly woman from her burning home. Officer John Kaiser responded to the scene after dispatchers told him 71-year-old Sandra Branham was stuck inside.

It happened Monday morning on Oak Run Court in Bessemer City. We've got ahold of the 911 call as the woman pleas for help, sending emergency crews rushing to Bessemer City.


Officer Kaiser was the first to respond to the scene.

"First was get the door open. Second was get the debris moved. Third was get her. The fourth was get her out of there,” he describes.

In the 911 call, Sandra Branham says “Ineed help!” and the dispatcher responds “I know sweety, they're coming."

Branham explains she’s unable to escape the house fire because she’s disabled and can’t find her cane.

Kaiser started kicking through the back door and found the elderly woman unresponsive.

"When I first saw her, she's lying on her back. She's struggling to breathe. Her eyes were open. She was blinking. But she couldn't speak,” he recalls.

He says the heavy smoke and debris was overwhelming to get through, but he got her out within minutes.

She's now at Spartanburg Regional Hospital. We called the hospital and found out that she’s currently listed in critical condition.

Kaiser says what he did should not be considered heroic. He was just doing his job.

“Somewhere there's a firefighter, police officer, or medic doing this right now. So it's part of the job,” he said.

Kaiser has been with the Gaston County Police Department for two years. Two other officers showed up minutes after him, helping the woman until an ambulance arrived.

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