AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – A remarkable store of heroism took place in Columbia County Saturday. Two deputies doing good old fashioned police work saved one woman’s life and could have possibly saved more.
Imagine being asleep in your bed and waking up to find two strange men standing over you. This time it was the wake-up call in the middle of the night one lady needed.
Deputy Michael Bish was one of those strange men.
“The whole back side of the town home was in flames,” he recalled after responding to the fire.
The person living in the burned town home-made it out safely and she can thank two of her local deputies.
“But when you look into the window you could see the ceiling was starting to smolder up and burn. You could see smoke coming through the ceiling,” Deputy Bish explained.
It was a quiet night throughout Columbia County when Deputies Michael Bish and Ben Veihman spotted something they thought didn’t look too good at Applecross Apartment Complex.
“It was no clouds and you look over and you just see this huge plume of smoke come out,” Bish said.
The deputies launched into action. They called the fire department and then began knocking on doors to get people out to safety. But one homeowner never answered the knock at the door.
Bish described, “She was just startled. She didn’t know what was going on and why two police officers were standing in her room yelling her house is on fire. She didn’t believe us at first. She said no and told us to leave.”
As the fire moved from the back of the home up the attic and into the room, the men in blue took swift action to save a life.
“When we finally got her out of the house, she turned around and tried to run back in because she said my house isn’t on fire. You’re lying to me. We grabbed her and we pulled her out and she realized ‘oh, my house is on fire,’” Bish stated.
34-year-old Tiffany Brown lives to see another day. The deputies worked together during training when Bish trained Veihman. They told NewsChannel 6 they never really prepared for this rescue, they just pledged to serve and protect and adrenaline did the rest.
“Better to be safe than sorry,” Deputy Veihman said.
Everyone else made it out of their homes safely.
The Columbia County Fire Chief said they are still waiting to see what caused the fire and where it started.
Photojournalist: Gary Hipps