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— By the time the Fire Department arrived, the flames were extinguished and damage to anapartment lessened thanks to the quick action of police officer Chris Olson.

Fire Chief Frank Rizzio praised Olson, who was the first person on the scene after Benton County Central Communications dispatched the Pea Ridge Fire Department to a structure fire in a Frost Street apartment at 6:12 p.m. Friday, Feb. 5.

“When I got there, there was a gal with a baby in the driveway saying ‘It’s on fire, it’s on fire.’ I could see smoke in the back apartment,” Olson said. “I kept asking them if everyone was out....

“I could see flames in the kitchen and I knew if i could get to it before it got in the attic, it might make a difference. I got the fire extinguisher out of the car, heldmy breath, and went in and put out the fire.”

A neighbor to the apartment, where a teen-age girl was home alone, called 911 after the girl ran next door when she saw the flames.

Rizzio said the fire was caused by an electrical malfunction near the stove.

He said Olson’s actions likely saved thousands of dollars in damage to the building a well as kept neighbors able to remain in their homes.

Police Chief Tim Ledbetter said all police cars are equipped with fire extinguishers. Officers have used the extinguishers in the past, usually on a vehicle fire.

News, Pages 1 on 02/17/2010

Print Headline: Police officer extinguishes fire

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