Police were on the scene in just a little more than one minute. They determined from vehicles outside the home that someone was more than likely inside.
Multiple officers banged on the doors and windows of the home to try to alert anyone inside. The smoke alarm could be heard blaring from the inside the home.
When they didn’t get a response, two officers, identified as Officer Darren Koski and Officer Freeman, kicked in the front door.
Officer Koski, Officer Craig Gipson, and Sergeant Dave Bramel decided to enter the home.
Sergeant Bramel stood at the opening of the door, and officers Koski and Gipson crawled into the home to try to make contact with the man inside.
They reported they had to stay low to the ground. Visibility was low, and smoke filled the room, leaving only about six inches of space near the floor.
They said they could see the fire to their left as it made its way up walls and across the ceiling.
As they yelled to make contact with the resident, identified as 30-year-old Ben Gregg, they finally heard his voice calling back to them from the back of the home.
He told them he couldn’t see, and they advised him to crawl toward their flashlights.
When he got to them, officers said they could tell he was disoriented. They were able to safely pull him from the burning home.
Reports stated that seconds later, an explosion occurred, and the home was fully engulfed in flames.
According to Gregg, he did not realize his home was on fire, and he added he's a sound sleeper who always kept a towel at the bottom of his bedroom door to keep light out. He stated if it wasn’t for the officers, he could have died in the fire.
He added he didn’t wake up until he heard the officers banging and yelling. He also heard a crashing sound, which may have been when the officers kicked in the door.
Authorities said officers Koski and Gipson had some smoke inhalation, but reports confirmed they were okay and uninjured. Gregg was also unharmed.
Clarksville Fire Rescue quickly responded and put out the fire, staying on scene several hours to extinguish hot spots.
The home was considered a total loss, and the cause remained under investigation.
Gregg said the home belonged to his grandmother. After he death, he said he was fixing it up room by room. He added he'd only lived there for about three months.
According to Gregg, he lost everything except for his cellphone in the fire. Anyone that can help with donations, including men's extra large clothing, has been asked to drop those donations off at the home of Gregg's father. That address is at 845 Stafford Street, just across the street from where the fire took place.
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