FORT WORTH -- Fighting through heavy smoke and with flames pouring down from the ceiling, Fort Worth police officers Carson Bell and Lyndsey Stewart rushed into a duplex Tuesday morning, searching for those still inside.
Bell kicked the front door three times before it flew open.
"We never said a word to each other once we got in," Bell said.
They quickly found a woman, who was near the front door, Stewart said.
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"I grabbed her legs and he grabbed her arms and we went out," Stewart said.
Fire Lt. Daniel Cearley and firefighters Louis Pantoja and Zac Shaffer arrived seconds later and went inside to rescue a male companion.
"It was dark and hot," Pantoja said. "We heard a noise like someone coughing, and found him near a couch."
The man and woman -- they had been sleeping -- suffered life-threatening injuries. She was taken by helicopter ambulance to Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas. He was taken by ground ambulance to Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth.
Another adult, a roommate who escaped on her own, was later taken to a hospital with breathing difficulties, authorities said.
They were not identified by authorities.
"This was a highly dangerous situation," fire Capt. Tom Crow said Tuesday at a news conference. "The officers and firefighters should be commended for what they did."
The one-alarm fire broke out about 3:30 a.m. Tuesday in the 8100 block of Arbor Avenue in west Fort Worth.
"We happened to be in the area when we heard the call of a burning house," Stewart said. "When we got there, flames were coming out of a garage, and we heard that woman in the front yard."
Fire, police and emergency response officials noted the team effort it took to rescue the two.
"It showed that they [officers and firefighters] would do anything to help," Police Chief Jeff Halstead said at the news conference.
Stewart and Bell were treated on the scene for smoke inhalation, Crow said.
Stewart was Rookie of the Year last year, and Bell has been on the force for three years.
"I'm worried sick about her every night," said police Capt. Linda Stuart, Stewart's mother. "But I have to trust her training and the other officers."
The cause of the fire remained under investigation Tuesday. Residents of the duplex's other unit escaped unharmed.
Deanna Boyd, 817-390-7655
Domingo Ramirez Jr., 817-390-7763