Brannon D. Heathman helped to rescue Karen S. Murdock and Jill D. C. Watkins from burning, Oceanside, California, December 16, 2014.
Murdock, 62, and Watkins, 53, lay unconscious on the floor of a second-story apartment after fire broke out in the living room at night and filled the unit with dense smoke. On duty, Heathman, 37, police officer of Temecula, California, responded to the scene.
Finding the door to the apartment open, Heathman crawled inside, despite the smoke, and saw Murdock in a bedroom not far from the apartment door. He entered the room, grasped Murdock, and dragged her from the apartment. A man who lived at the complex then took Heathman’s flashlight and, staying low, crawled into the apartment and found Watkins. Heathman re-entered the unit, crawled to Watkins, and with the other man grasped him and dragged him outside to safety.
Murdock and Watkins were hospitalized for treatment of smoke inhalation and burns. Heathman also received hospital treatment for smoke inhalation, and he recovered.