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Written by Cynthia Brown   

In Cambridge, Massachusetts, home of Harvard, MIT and American Police Beat, a group of heroic cops risked their lives recently when they raced into a raging house fire where residents were trapped inside.
“You’re coughing in there. You can taste the metal, the soot in your mouth. You can feel the burning in your lungs,” Cambridge police officer, Nicholas Mochi told reporters with WHDH News.

He was one of six officers that wound up being the difference between life and death for the trapped occupants.

“We were actually updated by our dispatch that there were multiple people trapped inside and we could also see people hanging out of the third story windows screaming,” said another officer.

Anyone that has responded to a call like this knows the smoke is just as deadly as the flames. And the smoke was so thick and black you couldn’t see your hand in front of your face.

“It just so happened just by luck when I went in there I grabbed blindly. I felt something, I grabbed a woman, I grabbed her upper shoulder and just pulled,” said Mochi.

Officers Frank Lange and Steven Murphy found a resident sleeping on the second floor.

“We opened the door and he was actually sleeping on the floor. We yelled at him I think we scared him and he jumped up and we told him to get out. He kind of just stood there looking at us,” Lange told reporters.

Cambridge, like a lot of the metro Boston area is a city with a lot of old buildings, particularly triple-deckers that can go up like a pack of matches in the dry summer months.

The Cambridge fire chief says the flames appear to have started on the back porch before climbing into the third floor and attic in a hurry.

“You could see three foot flames through the windows. The porch was just up in flames. And since three this morning, we've basically watched it jump from porch to porch to roof. And it just cleared the whole top floor,” said resident, Peter Moulthorp.

Police Commissioner Peter Haas applauded the officers’ actions and pointed out that the officers were wearing their cloth uniforms, not protective gear for combating fires.

“They really put themselves in harm's way,” he said. “They were really heroic and put aside their own safety to save the three people that were in that house.”

In all, three people were pulled to safety from building. Nine others got out on their own.

Lives weren't the only things saved. The building was home to a group of artists and musicians who were overwhelmed by the kindness of the public safety professionals that responded to the call.

Police and firefighters took the time to rescue musical instruments that they brought out one by one to the relief of the victims.

“It's just incredibly kind and very, very thoughtful. And they don't have to do this. They put their lives in danger going back in there. You can see they're still putting water into the building,” said resident, Brendan Burns.

Two firefighters were taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries and are now at home doing well.


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