Several Mission police officers were cited this week with commendations for their actions during two recent fires in Mission.
Officers Tim Coffer, Matt Bieberbach and Warren Neff were given the Silver Medal of Valor, the second highest honor available, by Interim Chief David Moloy. The three officers responded to a March house fire on Rock Creek Lane. “When we arrived smoke was visible and coming out of the residence,” according to Sgt. Coffer, who was familiar with the house from previous medical calls and knew one of the residents had a disability and would not be able to get out of the house. Neighbors were “yelling and pointing to the house” when the officers arrived, Moloy said.
When Sgt. Coffer made it to the front door, smoke was coming out the seams. The officers kicked in the locked door and found the house filled with smoke. Coffer and Bieberbach made it to the son’s room and found him on the bed with his eyes partially open and his mother lying on the floor. They carried her out while officer Neff extinguished a burning pan on the stove. All three went back to carry out the son. Firefighters from Consolidated Fire District No. 2 arrived and cleared the house.
In another fire two days earlier, Sgt. Kevin Self and officers Ryan Baylark and Tim Gift were sent to an apartment fire where they could see heavy smoke as they approached. The officers immediately evacuated the people in the apartments and adjacent buildings.
Once residents had been evacuated, officers began collecting their information and worked with management to verify that everyone had made it out safely. They then set up a perimeter for firefighters. Self, Baylark and Gift were awarded the Certificate of Commendation.