JAMESTOWN – The Jamestown Police Officer who helped save a family that woke up to their home completely engulfed in flames says he was simply at the right place, at the right time.
Officer Mark Conklin, in his first television interview since the rescue, was on another call around 12:20 a.m. Monday when he was alerted to the massive William Street blaze.
“We just ran, basically to investigate, to see what it was,” said Conklin.
What he found was a structure, fully engulfed in flames. The heat, so hot, it melted the siding of a nearby home.
“Initially, I didn’t even feel the heat, because adrenaline is so high,” explained Conklin, while discussing the rescue of a child jumping from the porch roof of the single-family home. “I knew they couldn’t stay up there long, they had to get off somehow.”
The footage from officer Conklin’s body camera has since gone viral. Jamestown Police Chief Tim Jackson says it is not only important for the public to see his heroic actions, but other police officers too.
“It inspires the other officers, it inspires myself,” said Jackson. “You can’t train for it, it is in his heart.”
In addition to the troves of well-wishes posted online, Chief Jackson says Officer Conklin will be getting more recognition in the coming days.
“He definitely will be recognized,” said Jackson. “He will also be recognized at city county this Monday.”
As for the praise, Conklin is grateful but says, “I say thank you, but this is honestly what first responders do all over the world everyday,” said Conklin. “I was at the right place, at the right time, and I am glad I could help.”
Miraculously, no one was injured. However, Brooke and Hector Rivera, along with their four kids, lost everything. Officer Conklin, along with many in the community, are now lending a hand.
“We’re here for them,” said Conklin. “I think the whole community is here for them.”
The property has since been demolished, with the family looking for a new home. A GoFundMe page set up just hours after the blaze has raised 1,000s of dollars. To donate to the family or to find out their clothes sizes, you can visit the GoFundMe page directly at helpriverafamily.com.