Tulsa police officer catches baby from balcony during apartment fire

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Reported by: Tiffany Alaniz
Updated: 1/06 5:28 pm Published: 1/06 4:58 pm

Investigators are looking into the cause of an apartment fire in east Tulsa.

This is one of two fires to break out in one day at the Whispering Oaks apartment complex, near 11th and Highway 169.

The first fire started as day-shift officers at the Mingo Valley Division of the Tulsa Police Department were heading out to their assigned beats. Some officers spotted smoke billowing from the apartments.

"There were just flames everywhere, probably about 6 or 7 feet high, thick, black smoke, you could barely see anything when I arrived," said Officer Alan Franks, with Tulsa Police Department.

Franks said that when he got out of his car to help, a woman ran up to him screaming.

"And said, 'Help, help, my baby's on the balcony,'" he said.

Franks said he ran over to help.

"One of the (men) was cradling a little baby, 8-12 months old, and told me, 'Catch my baby, I'm going to drop him down to you.' He put the baby in a lame position and dropped the baby down, (and I) caught the baby," said Franks.

Franks told FOX23 as he wrapped the baby in a blanket. He couldn't believe what was happening.

"Never thought I'd be catching a baby when I came in to work this morning," said Franks.

Meanwhile other officers worked to evacuate nearly 50 residents from the apartments.

The residents said they are thankful for the heroic actions of the officers.

"They were doing what they thought was best to do, which was get over there as fast as they could, save as many lives as they could, and they did a wonderful job," said Jerry Moynihan, who lives in the complex.

Fellow officers say they are proud.

"Unbelievable job; they literally saved lives," said Cpl. Brian Collum, with the Tulsa Police Department.

Franks said it's just a day's work.

“(The) dad came up to me later at the division, grabbed me, shook my hand ... said, 'Thank you for catching my baby,'" said Franks.

Franks and the others told FOX23 they weren't just worried about the fire this morning.

With a record 2 degrees below zero and wind chill at minus 13 when the fire broke out, they said they wanted to get the babies and adults out of the cold.
A second fire broke out around 4 p.m. on Monday. One person was treated for smoke inhalation.

TFD said the fire was caused by faulty wiring.

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Mayor Maynot - 1/6/2014 5:30 PM
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Good catch b
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