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View Full Version : COPS TV: "Your house is on fire!"



DaveJersey
03-15-2004, 04:04 PM
I know many threads regarding the "COPS" TV show have been started, and the general concensus seems to be that it is not a 100% accurate depiction of police work. With that said, and without starting a trend of "Did you see the episode when..." threads, I must ask:

Did you see the episode when the cop broke the windows of this poor old lady's house to tell her it was on fire, and he was wrong? (Sorry, had to do it -- saw this one on CourtTV last night, and needed to get this one out there!)

The officer approched the woman's house (thinking it was on fire, when it was the home behind her's) and after one quick bang on the door, took our his nightstick and began to smash these little 6" by 6" windows that covered the front of her house. Windows too small for ANY human to fit through, not even a 4 year old could quezze through. After she opens the door he's yelling, "POLICE!!! You're house is on fire!!!!!"

The old lady puts on her robe, in her quiet, smoke-free home. But the officer still insists that there is a fire in her attic. Then over the radio comes: "Todd, it's next door!!!" Then we see all the other cops entering the smoke-filled home checking for occupants. Basically, what Todd just tried to do in the wrong place.

My non-LEO opinion: I kinda feel sorry for the guy, but facts before acts. He didn't know for sure this house was on fire. A quick observation of the surrounding houses could have determined where EXACTLY the flames were coming from. Or am I wrong? In these situations do you want to alert all neighbors? If so, is his tactic of window smashing correct or was he putting on a hero show for the cameras? If not, are you in DEEP after this one? His Sgt. was on scene and found it a bit humerous. But back at the station is this guy getting reamed? I'm sure it cost the PD a pretty penny!

6233108
03-15-2004, 05:21 PM
Originally posted by Marky Mark
That's an OLD clip from Ft. Worth PD...If a house is really on fire, yes breaking out a window, or even breaking down a door is fine.



Just make sure you hand check any door your try to open in regards to a fire call. Unless of course getting sucked into a vortex of fire is the cremation you've always wanted.

Contact
03-15-2004, 11:32 PM
Looking at this clip last night was very funny; of coarse I would have done the same thing, if I thought the house was on fire. But basic common sence would tell you differently...the entire neighborhood was in smoke, but the inside of the 'house that

retdetsgt
03-15-2004, 11:36 PM
Which is all why I didn't chose to be a fireman!

CPPD
03-16-2004, 04:36 PM
That was the craziest cops episode I've seen; I felt like an idiot just watching it. You think COPS would have edited that one out but I guess not...I remember the supervisor saying 'how are we going to write this one up' as they were looking at the womans broken windows.

kirch
03-16-2004, 04:44 PM
When you start asking long-time viewers of COPS of their favorite or most memorable episodes, that one ranks right up there with "Get on it, Mel!"

Sleuth
03-16-2004, 04:54 PM
I retired from law enforcement, and now I'm a Volunteer Fire Fighter (can't stay away from the red lights & sirens). Depending upon how close the houses are, wind direction, access issues, fuel load, foliage, and the like, I think the officer was right. As a FF, we would have requested the adjacent houses (known as exposures) be evacuated. At night, we would ask the officers to force entry to make sure no one was asleep inside. Who cares about a few windows if you can save a life.

Rjagger
03-16-2004, 06:12 PM
I am both a deputy sheriff, and a deputy fire chief.

The whole idea of running into burning buildings without a SCBA and PPE is very foolish. Reguardless of what your training is. Fire and/or smoke does not care if you have a gun and a badge, and trained as a firemen. It is an equal opportunity killer.

The idea of venting a building on fire by breaking a window before the attack lines are in place, is a bad idea and can get you sued.

Warning people in houses next to the fire is a good idea. Windows are about the cheapest thing you can replace. It is very important to break the top first, so that it does not fall and cut off some body part.