2 Portland officers pull woman from burning home

2 Portland officers pull woman from burning home (Image 1)

Two police officers in Portland are being hailed as heroes after pulling a woman to safety from a burning home early Friday morning.

Officers Shaun Tyson and Chris Arthur were on patrol early Friday morning when a neighbor called 911 to report a home on fire at 115 Jerry Street.

Upon arrival the officers could see an orange glow coming from the front door.

A neighbor who was inside the house at the time told Nashville's News 2 a kerosene heater had been knocked down in the living room sending oil and flames between the front door and the kitchen.

She ran out, but the woman who lives there, Regina Wheelis was still inside.

Officers Tyson and Arthur pulled up at the house minutes before firefighters.

“The smoke wasn't heavy at that time, but then we found her in the kitchen. She was laid down, had some injuries,” said Officer Shaun Tyson. “There was kerosene all over the floor.”

Officer Arthur said Tyson, who is also a trained firefighter, said they needed to act quickly.

“I definitely thought it could go bad quickly, because of the kerosene on the floor,” said Arthur.

The two officers picked Wheelis up by her arms and legs and carried her to safety.

Firefighter and EMT Scott Meece with the Portland Fire Department said the quick action by the officers may have saved Wheelis' life.

“I believe they gave her the best chance she had to survive I really do,” he said. “I believe if she had stayed in there a little longer we could be looking at another outcome.”

Arthur and Tyson downplayed what they did, but Portland Police Chief Richard Smith lauded the officers for their bravery.

“Every officer that works here would do that. These officers went above and beyond and I'm just as proud as I can be to have them here and working for me,” he said.

Regina Wheelis was taken to Vanderbilt's burn unit with burns to her arms and legs and a cut to her head.

She was in stable condition Friday afternoon.

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