ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Officer Byron Hill with Dougherty County Police was on routine patrol about 2:15 a.m. Thursday on Pine Bluff Road when he spotted a fire in a mobile home.
Because of his quick action, that family is alive.
"I was banging on the sides and the windows, and I heard a voice yell for help," recalled officer Byron Hill.
The front porch was fully engulfed in flames, and the back door was bolted, so Officer Hill had to go to a window to help Richard Strandberg, his wife Connie, five-year-old Steven Hatcher, and 20-year-old son Richard Strandberg Junior out of the burning home. The smoke was overwhelming.
"I wouldn't leave my own kid unprotected, and I certainly wasn't going to leave him unprotected," said Hill.
As firefighters arrived, the Strandberg's would not leave the burning home, because they could not find their 20 year old son, who is blind.
Hill worked to get them to safety while informing firefighters of the situation.
Engine 7 Firefighters went in and found Strandberg Juniorunconsciouss on the dining room floor. All four were taken to the hospital, and are recovering from minor smoke inhalation.
"In our book he is a hero, he was dead on time," said Albany Fire Department Assistant Chief Rubin Jordan.
Hill said he is not a hero, just a police officer doing his job.
"I'm grateful," said Hill. "Humbled by the experience. Thank God for grace and mercy, it was because of him they were alive. I was happy to be used to get them out."
Firefighters today said the fire was caused by careless smoking materials left on that porch.