Five Saskatoon police officers were taken to hospital after a house fire Wednesday morning.
Police Chief Troy Cooper said detectives driving along 20th Street noticed smoke coming from a home on the 200 block of Avenue L South around 9:15 a.m.
They stopped in a nearby parking lot to call 9-1-1, then proceeded over to the house to make sure no one was still inside.
The detectives found people from the upstairs of the home who had gotten out safely, but were told there may still have been someone in the basement.
They went to a basement window where they heard a man yelling. At this point another group of patrol officers arrived at the scene.
Cooper said the officers made contact with the man in the basement, and tried to guide him to either a window or a door to get him out. Police briefly lost contact with the man and proceeded to kick out a basement window and remove security bars so they could keep communicating.
The officers were eventually able to talk the man to a side door of the home and get him out.
The man was treated at the scene for burns and smoke inhalation, then taken to hospital with what were described as serious injuries
Cooper said the officers suffered varying degrees of smoke inhalation while leaning into the smoke-filled basement to help guide the man to safety.
He said he’d been to hospital to see them, and all were expected to make complete recoveries.
“Some of them of course are suffering worse than others and having a little difficulty talking, but we’re certainly grateful that it’s not worse than it was, and we’re very proud of our officers today for saving the life of a Saskatoon resident,” he said.
Fire department delayed by train
The Saskatoon Fire Department reported it sent six fire engines from Station Number 1 on Idylwyld Drive after getting called about the fire at 9:16 a.m.
Those units were delayed at the CP Rail crossing at 20th Street and Avenue K South, forcing engines to be dispatched from Number 2 Station on Diefenbaker Drive.
Those fire engines arrived at the scene within seven minutes of receiving the call.
The units that were stuck at the rail crossing arrived at 9:25 a.m., just under 10 minutes after they got the initial call.
In a news release issued Wednesday afternoon, a fire department spokesperson said the cause of the blaze remains under investigation.