Police officers take an oath to protect and serve. Thursday afternoon – a Kaukauna officer put his life at risk – to do both.
When the call went out reporting a fire at this town of Vandenbroek home on Maloney road Thursday.
“I was on routine patrol just driving around the city,” said Kaukauna Police Officer Charlie Vosters.
Vosters rushed to help – the first emergency responder to arrive on scene. Once there – he saw a detached garage on fire and one of the residents outside the home. Vosters asked if everyone was out.
“She said no, my husband is in the house yet, he’s sleeping on oxygen,” Vosters recalled.
She told Vosters her husband was sleeping in a room close to the burning garage and right away the officer knew he had to act.
“You do what you have to do at the specific time to take care of the needs of others,” he said.
By now an unknown bystander watching offered to help and together the two rushed inside the smoke-filled home and woke up the man.
“He didn’t know anything was going on, he was confused and kind of dazed when he woke up,” Vosters said.
Quickly escorting him out of the now – burning home.
“Charlie and this bystander were able to get the gentlemen out of his house and as they turned around and looked right where they were there was flames,” said Assistant Police Chief Jamie Graff.
Thanks to quick action – the man escaped injury. His relatives too emotional today to talk about what might have been. And while some may call both men heroic – for Officer Vosters it was just another work day.
“It’s my duty to do something good for other people,” Vosters said. “It comes with the job that you have to do, what you have to do.”
In 2006 Vosters saved another life – helping an 11-month old choking on a toy.