Search location by ZIP code Oakland officers broke windows, rescued residents from burning home

Three Oakland police officers are receiving praise from the department for rescuing two people trapped in a burning building.

It happened earlier this week at home on West Gulley Avenue.


“The next thing you know, instead of fire there is white smoke everywhere,” Robert said.

Search location by ZIP code Oakland officers broke windows, rescued residents from burning home

Michelle and Robert are battling two emotions: relief and disbelief.Relief, because they are alive and disbelief because the house they lived in is in shambles. And most of their cats died.“The ones that were confined didn't get a chance to get out the window. They just didn't have a chance,” Michelle said.

Coming back to the house was bittersweet. But it was tempered by the faces of the Oakland police officers who saved their lives.Detectives Shawn Dozier and Lt. Angela Campbell are two of three officers first on the scene.They spotted Michelle through a window inside the burning home.“We were trying to go through the back until we heard her screaming,” one officer said.

They broke the window and pulled Michelle out. She works with a rescue group and was taking care of injured and sick cats. All were on the top floor.“We had to yell at the top of our voice. You have to get out. She was very concerned about her husband and the cats in the home,” Michelle and Robert said.

But at the next window, they found Robert.“He just yanked me and the next thing you know it was like through a tube. I went out. It was chaos, but I felt safe,” Robert said.

According to the officers, the first person to spot the fire was a man exercising on the West Orange Trail right next to their house. He started banging on the door.“We had to get them out of the house,” an officer said.

Sadly, by the time it was over, 14 cats perished. Several survived. Like Max who hung out on the only part of the roof that wasn’t burning and cashed in on one of his nine lives.