OSHKOSH, Wis. (WFRV)-An Oshkosh family had the opportunity to say “thank you” to the police officers who saved them and their pets from a house fire over the weekend.
Doug, Melissa, 12-year-old Chloe, and 5-year-old Oliver Stadtmueller came to the Oshkosh Police Department to reconnect with the officers who saved them from their burning home just two days earlier.
Oshkosh police body cam footage of the rescue show an officer grabbing a ladder from the home’s garage and climbing to the roof of the house to rescue Melissa, her two children, and their pets.
The fire started in the kitchen filling the inside of the house with black smoke.
“I could hear it,” says Melissa Stadtmueller. “I’m going to have a hard time going to campfires because when the wood crackles I heard that and I didn’t know what was happening.”
Melissa says the smoke woke her up Saturday morning. Her husband Doug was shopping at Walmart at the time the fire started. Melissa was able to gather up her children and pets and help them escape the home onto the roof through an upstairs window before the police officers arrived.
“I can’t give my wife enough credit for being there, getting my kids out, the cat out and having the dog right there,” says Doug Stadtmueller.
Twelve year old Chloe says she took a peak downstairs at the kitchen where the fire started before going back upstairs and escaping through the window.
“A lot of smoke and then I turned around and looked at the kitchen and all around smoke and fire everywhere,” says Chloe. “I thought about going out the front door, but if I had I might not have made it.”
There were no working smoke detectors in the home at the time of the fire. Both the family and the Oshkosh fire department hoping what happened can be a lesson to others to always remember to check their smoke detectors.
Today though, the family just grateful that the police officers were able to save them.
“You went above and beyond and you really did save my family,” says Doug Stadtmueller.
On Monday, the Stadtmueller family got an opportunity to reconnect with the police officers who won’t call themselves heroes but whose heroic actions saved the day on Saturday.
The family also thanking the Oshkosh community who they say gave them food, clothes, and other items they needed after the fire.
The family is currently staying in a hotel. An investigation is ongoing to determine the cause of the fire.
Doctors treated two of the police officers for smoke inhalation, but both have since been released.