‘You Plan for This Your Entire Career': Off-Duty Police Sgt. Rescues 3 People From Burning Home

Sgt. Thomas Encarnacao of the North Reading Police Department spotted the large fire at 30 Lowell Road on his way home from a shift Monday night.

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An off-duty police sergeant in Massachusetts called 911, and alerted three people inside a North Reading home, after spotting a large fire on his way home from his shift Monday night. 

“I saw the left hand side of the house was fully engulfed in flames,” said Sgt. Thomas Encarnacao of the North Reading Police Department.

It happened at 30 Lowell Road around 1 a.m.

“I was able to bang on the door, got no response, there was quite a bit of smoke and flames coming up the side so I just decided to force entry,” he said. 

The three people inside had no idea their house was on fire. 

Encarnacao first rescued a man sleeping on a first floor couch. 

“I was able to get him, once he got his bearings, to come to me and exit the house, the sergeant said. 

Second, Encarnacao rescued a man sleeping in the basement. Police went through the bulkhead to alert him. He ran up the stairs and out the door. 

The third and final rescue was a 13-year-old boy in a back bedroom. 

Encarnacao said they double checked to see if there was anyone else in the house. That’s when he says “the father realized his juvenile son was still inside the house” and tried to run back inside. 

Encarnacao pulled the child out of a window with the help of two other officers.

“When we finally made contact and knew people were there we knew we had to do whatever we had to do to get them out,” he said. 

No one was hurt, and Encarnacao says he’s grateful his training prepared him for this. 

“You plan for this you’re entire career. Especially those of us who work nights and overnights you may at four in the morning just find a house on fire,” he said. 

The cause of the fire is under investigation by the North Reading Fire Department, and the State Fire Marshals Office.

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