A family has a Middletown Police officer to thank for safely escaping a fire at their home.
At about 2 a.m. Wednesday morning, Officer Tim Meehan was on a traffic stop at Lefferson Road and Breiel Boulevard when he noticed a strong odor of smoke. Officer Meehan let the minor traffic violator go and searched for the cause of the fire.
He found a home in the 2500 block of Buckingham Court on fire. Meehan banged on the front door and woke up three adults and two children and escorted them through heavy smoke to safely.
"It was a crazy experience," Nicholas Orick said. "It was a scary. I was more scared about my son than anything."
Orick was woken up by his six year old son in the middle of the night.
"He was actually lying in the bed with me and whenever he heard the officer banging on the door he woke me up," Orick said.
Meehan had been working a midnight K9 shift.
"I'm always going to be thinking about what could have happened," Orick said. "And thanks to officer Meehan... he's a hero to me."
Orick says even if all of the fire alarms would have gone off he believes, with all of the smoke, that everyone would have been fast sleep.
"We wouldn't have even woken up," he said.
It is that thought of what could have been that Orick cannot shake.
"That's all I've been thinking about constantly. It's been running through my mind all day," he said.
Everyone in the home including Orick, his son, mother, grandmother, and stepfather made it out safely. All, they say, because an officer had the sense to follow his nose.
"It was typical Tim," Middletown police officer Rodney Muterspaw said. "He's the type of guy that will do anything. He'll risk his own life, his own safety to go in and help, he's always been like that."
Meehan's heroic actions now serve as a reminder to officers that the job is not limited to what is in from of them.
"We try to preach against tunnel vision and don't just focus on what you're doing but your surroundings and that's exactly what he did," Muterspaw said.
"In my eyes he saved all of us and my son," Orick said. "I'd like to thank him very much."
The Middletown Fire Department is investigating the cause of the fire. Meehan and the residents were treated for minor injuries.