Off-duty Westlake officer rescues sleeping man from house fire

Off-duty Westlake officer rescues sleeping man from house fire

WESTLAKE, OH (WOIO) - Don Barton was asleep when a fire erupted inside his home.

He said if it weren't for a knock on the door, he doesn't know whether he'd be here today.

"I fell asleep and the first thing I heard was a bang on the ceiling," Barton said.

When Barton woke up, he tried to get out of the house, but quickly realized he was in trouble.

"When I went into the big open room it was nothing but billowing smoke. Really couldn't see through it," he said. "There was a banging on the door, I went towards the door and opened it up. (The officer) said: 'Westlake Police, you gotta get out of here.'"

It was then that Barton realized it was an off-duty police officer who woke him up.

"Thank God I had an angel looking out after me, that Westlake Police officer," Barton said.

The officer saw the smoke as he was driving home, and stopped to make sure everyone was out of the house.

"He was searching around for other people. He kept yelling: 'Is there anyone else in here?' I said, no, there wasn't," Barton said.

Barton was the only one inside, and thanks to the officer, he made it out safely.

The city is planning on honoring the officer. Barton plans on attending the ceremony to personally thank him.

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