CRANBERRY TWP — Four Cranberry police officers were honored Thursday for their actions in a July fire to save life and property.
Sgt. Steve Berg and officers James Cipriani, Christopher Maloney and Tiffani Shaffer each received a certificate of appreciation and the fire chief's challenge coin for what fire Division Chief Mike Hanks called “a great success and an example of teamwork between the public safety departments in Cranberry Township.”
The honors relate to a July 11 fire at a residential house on Cosette Drive, which Hanks said stemmed from an air fryer in the residence's kitchen. While Cranberry Township Volunteer Fire Company trucks were en route, the officers took actions to ensure the fire didn't worsen.
“The engine crew quickly pulled off the hose line for a fire attack, and as they did so they were met by an officer from Cranberry Township Police Department,” Hanks said. “This officer was able to advise the firefighters of where the fire was located, as well as the best access for quick fire extinguishment.”
Telling fire crews where the flames were located was one thing, but the actions taken by other officers put their aid over-the-top.
“While this officer was working directly with our firefighters, three other CTPD officers were inside the residence extinguishing as much fire as they could with fire extinguishers that are kept in their patrol units,” Hanks said. “These officers went above and beyond the responsibilities of their job.”
The officers' actions — the extinguishment of fire inside the house — was critical in containing the fire to the kitchen, Hanks said.
“Fire doubles every minute. Today's building construction doesn't allow for much time before fire spreads rapidly, potentially causing significant smoke and fire harm,” he said.
And, he added, were it not for the four officers at the scene the fire would have turned out completely differently.
“Based upon the items within the room that were completely melted, it was apparent that the temperatures of the fire had reached significant temperatures,” Hanks said. “Had the officers from CTPD not responded in the way that they did, the fire department would have had a much larger fire to contain and damage to the residence could have been much worse.”
The fire chief's challenge coin is presented to public safety members “who have shown integrity, dedication, leadership and service above self.”