Deputy rescues woman from burning home

NEW BUFFALO, MI. --- A Berrien County deputy, fresh out of the training academy, is already making a heroic impact in his community.

When Berrien County Deputy Micheal Pellerito was dispatched to a house fire on Water Street in New Buffalo Thursday morning, he had no idea how much the call would change his life and young career. 

“I was the first vehicle on scene and heard dispatch advise there was a woman trapped in the house. I immediately began to assess the situation and realize that there was no good way to gain entry into the house,” said Deputy Pellerito. 

Once he arrived on the scene, he knew he had no time to waste, as he watched the entire house become swallowed by smoke and flames.

"Just aware of how bad it was, at first you know the call came out that there was a fire, but it wasn’t usually, you hear a structure fire or a lot bigger and as I arrived I see the flames on, over the top of the roof of the house and was just like oh no not good,” said Pellerito. 

He quickly realized it would be a race against the clock, to save the 72-year old woman, stuck inside a bedroom at the back of the house.

“One side of the house was completely engulfed, and I was able to locate her, once I was able to pull her out, we were able to turn her over to medic, and luckily everything turned alright,” said Pellerito.

Deputy Pellerito mentioned he felt a huge sigh of relief, after the rescue. He added, he does not have much fire training, but is understanding of his call to duty, giving him the push he needed, to spring into action. 

“I would say it’s a hard one, definitely have no fire training at all, but I feel like it’s more of the courage and urge that you get when I don’t know, especially in this field, you feel like you have to step up,” said Pellerito. 

The woman was safely transferred to the hospital where she was treated for minor smoke inhalation, with no other injuries reported. 


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