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Mountie rescues woman from blaze

May 18 2012

A Comox Valley Mountie likely saved a woman's life by running into a burning house and pulling her out early Thursday morning. Now arson investigators are trying to determine whether the fire was deliberately set.

Const. Tammy Douglas was making patrols in the Mission Hill area of Courtenay around 3 a.m. when she saw smoke billowing from a home near the North Island Highway and Veterans Memorial Parkway.

She called 911 and rushed to the Topland Road home to find the front porch fully engulfed. Three people were in the backyard, including a 19yearold man yelling that his "auntie" was still inside.

Douglas took a deep breath and dashed into the smoke-filled home through the back door. She found a woman in her late 30s in the back bedroom with the door closed.

"She was trying to find some shoes, probably not realizing the seriousness of the fire outside," said Comox Valley RCMP spokeswoman Const. Nicole Hall.

Douglas escorted the woman safely outside.

All residents and the two family dogs escaped with only minor injuries related to smoke inhalation. Douglas was also treated for smoke inhalation.

Hall said the officer is resting at home with her husband, Paul, who is also a Comox Valley Mountie.

Douglas's actions were praised by Chief Supt.

Randy Wilson, in charge of RCMP on Vancouver Island.

"Const. Douglas exemplifies the dedication and commitment to duty that so many of my officers hold. I take great pride in knowing that Tammy's selfless actions ensured that nobody was seriously injured or killed in this fire," he said in a statement.

"The communities in the Comox Valley are well served by Tammy and her colleagues, who do not hesitate to put themselves in harm's way for the safety and well-being of their citizens."

Douglas has been with the RCMP for 11 years, the last seven with Comox Valley RCMP.

An arson investigator from Comox Valley RCMP and inspectors from the Courtenay fire department were on scene Thursday trying to determine the cause of the fire.

Hall said it appears the fire started on the front porch while all family members were inside.

The house was severely damaged.

Police have not yet said if they consider the fire suspicious.

Anyone with information is asked to call Comox Valley RCMP at 250-338-1321 or Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

kderosa@timescolonist.com

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