The fire at a Medford apartment complex on November 2nd sent multiple children and their parents to the hospital.
The investigation into what caused that deadly fire is still ongoing, but for the first time we’re seeing and hearing what it was like for emergency responders who first arrived at the scene.
It’s a story you’ll only see on NBC5 News.
“As policemen, you kind of, we have to look for people who are resilient cause it will eat you up if you don’t.”
Working graveyards, Sgt. Geoff Kirkpatrick responds to a lot of calls.
But at the end of his shift on the morning of November 2nd, he knew the call he got was something serious.
“And this was one of those calls where we thought, so we all responded… our entire team,” he said.
He was one of the first on scene, responding to an apartment complex in Medford fully engulfed in flames.
His body camera rolling the whole time.
“You have a job to do,” he said. “And you have things that you have to get done… and priorities you need to attend to.”
The fire sparked in the early morning hours.
Firefighters rescued several children who were trapped in the burning building, some as young as 9 months old.
“They were covered in dirt,” he said. “They were covered in soot. They were having problems breathing…”
Sgt. Kirkpatrick made sure the children were seen by medics and attended to their every need.
Sadly, one of those children died a week later.
As hard as it is, Sgt. Kirkpatrick says you have to leave your emotions behind when you have a job to do.
“Sometimes it shows up later,” he said. “And we all carry burdens sometimes and we all deal with that in a different way.”
Reflecting on everything that unfolded that morning, Sgt. Kirkpatrick says it’s how everyone came together that made all the difference.
“We’re all one team,” he said. “We all have the same objective.”
He especially wants to thank the firefighters who went in toward the flames while he and others got everyone else out.
“During the fire and during the rescue, that’s their show,” he said. “They were absolute heroes and did some amazing things.”
Medford Fire-Rescue says the call has taken an emotional toll on the firefighters who helped.
Meanwhile, investigators are still trying to pinpoint a cause.
Amanda Rose is a multimedia journalist for NBC5 News. Amanda graduated from Columbia University earning a Master’s degree in Journalism. She also received a Bachelor’s degree in English with a specialization in literature from the University of British Columbia. She’s a Los Angeles native, but is thrilled to return to the beautiful Pacific Northwest and is passionate about reporting on the criminal justice system.