SAN DIEGO - The San Diego police officer who jumped a fence to save a mother and her two daughters from a burning apartment building spoke with 10News about the rescue.
10News spoke with San Diego police Officer Zach Bradley, who was humble and did not want to take any credit for the rescue. Firefighters, however, say he found the family in the nick of time.
The fire occurred Monday at the Stratton Apartments in Clairemont.
"I looked up and I motioned for the 16-year-old to open the window and when she did, I told her to punch out the screen and get her family and come on out," Bradley said in an interview on Wednesday.
The younger daughter, 13-year-old Lucy, was in tears as she told 10News about being unable to sleep.
"I'm so shaken up," she said. "I don't know. I'm just so scared, like it'll happen again."
Her older sister Gabrielle was grateful that Bradley broke their falls, but it was his initial act that struck a chord with her.
"I just want to say thank you for breaking our fall and thank you for climbing over that fence and finding us," she said.
Bradley said, "I just happened to be in the right place at the right time."
However, firefighters say it was much more than that. Bradley jumped a fence and coached the family to jump into his arms. It was the only way out and they had only minutes.
"There was definitely enough smoke in there from what I saw that it was getting to the point they were within a few minutes of being overcome by smoke," said Capt. Sean Murphy, who is with the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department. "So it was, I think, very imperative to get them out of there quickly. Officer Bradley deserves a lot of credit and I believe saved their lives."
The fire was determined to be a grease fire that started in a downstairs apartment. Firefighters said it appeared that none of the smoke detectors were working.