A year after a fire threatened the lives of apartment building residents in Princeton, an affected family was present during Monday’s City Council to personally thank a pair of officers for their life-saving efforts.
At 1:05 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 7, 2022 Princeton Police and Fire Departments were dispatched to a multi-unit apartment fire at 637 East Peru Street. Upon arrival, officers observed the residence on fire and began assisting with evacuation of residents.
During the evacuation, Sergeant Dan Jaeger and Officer Dustin Schaill observed four individuals on the roof of the structure trying to get down. With all firefighters on the scene actively fighting the fire, Jaeger and Schaill began assisting the people off of the roof.
Due to the height of the roof and the absence of a ladder, Jaeger and Schaill rescued the two children by catching them as they jumped from the roof.
As Schaill went to place the children in a vehicle to stay warm, Jaeger had to react when one of the remaining residents was forced to jump from the roof. Jaeger safely caught the resident and severely broke his leg in the process.
Since the incident, Jaeger has undergone several surgeries and medical procedures to repair his leg.
“He is still unable to come back to work in his full duty capacity, however he is currently assisting with administrative duties in a light duty role,” Police Chief Tom Kammerer said. “I value (Jaeger’s) expertise and dedication and am thankful he is able to work with us despite his injury.”
Kammerer added that the actions of both Jaeger and Schaill helped save the lives of the residents that become stuck on the roof.
“The actions of Sergeant Jaeger and Officer Schaill that early morning, a year ago, are nothing short of heroic,” Kammerer said. “Their efforts, at the very least, prevented injury to a family and quite possibly saved their lives.”
On Monday, members of the family they helped saved presented them with lifesaving awards for their bravery and composure during the incident.
“I am very proud of both of them for putting their safety at risk to protect others,” Kammerer said.