LAKE LOTAWANA, Mo. -- A metro family said a local police officer risked his life and ran into their burning home to save someone very dear to them: the family dog, Bella.
FOX 4's Molly Balkenbush spoke to the officer outside the Lake Lotawana Police Department.
Sgt. Thompson was driving around in his police car when he noticed a house on fire. Instead of just waiting for firefighters to arrive, Thompson sprung into action.
"I got a working structure fire that's blown up. Get fire rolling this way, I'll try to get the occupants out of the house," Sgt. Thompson can be heard saying over the police radio.
Typically, Thompson wouldn't be taking on the role of a police officer and a firefighter, but in this case, he was called to go beyond the call of duty.
"I didn't want the dog to run back there or anything like that because they are family," Thompson explained.
He said he was driving through the area when he noticed smoke and flames coming from a home. From the front, it didn't look too bad, but he said the back is a different story.
Thompson said he saw a car in the driveway, so he thought people might be inside. He also heard loud barking.
"It was one of those things, I didn't even think about it, going in," he recalled. "I would do it regardless. Animal, human, anybody, that's what I do, and I don't even think twice about going into situations."
When he forced his way into the home, he was quickly greeted by a five-year-old yellow lab named Bella.
In a twist of fate, Sgt. Thompson has a yellow lab of his own at his house. So he knows this girl is family.
"When I broke the door in, I came into him, he was like best friend and everything," Thompson said. "He was running around wagging his tail."
Once firefighters arrived, Thompson took Bella for a stroll outside and kept an eye on her. Her owners said they are forever grateful.
"I got three dogs at home myself. I expect someone would do that for me and my dog. They're family," Thompson said.
Fire crews are still working to determine the cause of the fire.