Deputy spots flames, helps evacuate burning apartment building

The blaze had spread across multiple sides of the building's top floor


By Sarah Calams

ROANOKE, Va. — A veteran sheriff's deputy is being hailed a hero after spotting flames and helping evacuate residents from a burning apartment building Tuesday afternoon. 

The Roanoke Times reported that Deputy Andrew Palmer, a 16-year veteran with the Roanoke Sheriff's Office, went to the 10-unit apartment building's upper floor to evacuate residents from the two-alarm fire. The blaze had spread across multiple sides of the building's top floor. Eventually, the roof collapsed.

"He did a great job," Roanoke Fire-EMS Chief David Hoback said. "That's what public safety is all about. We all jump in and help one another."

A total of 14 people and five pets were displaced from the fire, but no one was hurt. 

"You're there to help out. You're not going to shy away," Palmer said. "The sheriff's office is there to help – help the police department, help the fire department, all three of us work together. That's what I feel that we should do, and that's what we do."

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