Two Lee’s Summit officers hailed as heroes after helping woman escape burning duplex

LEE'S SUMMIT, Mo. -- Two police officers in the metro are being called heroes.

Neighbors in one Lee's Summit neighborhood, located near Chipman Road, said they saw the two officers rescue a woman from her burning home in the middle of the night.

A Lee's Summit police spokesperson confirmed Sgt. Brad Anders and Officer David Smith helped a hearing-impaired woman escape a smoke-filled house.

A news release from the Lee's Summit Fire Department said it was just past 3 a.m. Thursday, when Ted Keehler arrived home from his night job at a local hospital to find a horrific sight. The duplex on Fernwood Circle where he and his wife, Shelby, live was on fire.

Ted said Shelby is hearing-impaired and doesn't hear at all without her hearing aids. He said his wife had fallen asleep in an upstairs bedroom when fire broke out downstairs.

Keehler said his wife might not have survived without two heroes from the Lee's Summit Police Department.

Lee's Summit police spokesman Sgt. Chris Depue said Anders and Smith helped  Shelby Keehler climb out a high window in the back of the house, which sits about 7 feet above the ground.

When firefighters arrived, they found a challenge. The living room of the house was filled with thick smoke, and first responders couldn't get through the front door.

"Two big police officers grabbed her and basically yanked her out the window," Ted Keehler said.

Jeff Jolliffe, a next-door neighbor, said that's when Ted Keehler went searching for help. He banged on Jolliffe's door hollering for help. Jolliffe said he called 911.

"He came over, and he was talking about his wife and himself. 'Get in. There's a fire,' and of course, he was in shock," Jollife said.

"He talked about his wife and the two dogs, and he said, 'I know she's gone.' I'm thinking he's probably right. Somehow, she got out," Jolliffe said Thursday afternoon.

Keehler said his wife is still in the hospital, and thanks to those two officers, she's expected to be OK. Inspectors are still trying to determine the cause of the fire.

"God was on our side. He always has been. He's protected us many times," Ted Keehler said.

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