Two Hurst police officers who responded to an SUV that crashed into a home said they were just feet away from the home when it exploded last Saturday.
They jumped into action, despite the danger, ran inside and pulled out the mother who was trapped inside the house on myrtle drive.
“I just remember a big heat wave and something kind of pushing me from the side,” said Officer Travis Hiser. “There was shrapnel coming out of the house. The roof explodes, insulation was coming out. Things were coming out on fire.”
Hiser was initially responding to a report of an SUV that had crashed into the home. He knew from the 911 call that homeowners Dixie and Charlie Bridges were trapped inside the house along with adult son Christopher Bridges.
What Hiser didn’t know was that a runaway Ford Explorer, driven by Alejandro Enriquez-Castro, had severed the gas line. That’s what eventually caused the home to explode.
Hiser ran around the back of the home and was met by Corporal Ryan Tooker.
“As soon as I made it into the backyard I could see the walls were blown out of the house and I could actually see all the way through the house,” Tooker said.
Hiser said the adult son was extremely dazed when they found him.
“I remember him saying something along the lines of 'Help my mom, please come help my mom,’” Hiser said.
That's when Tooker spotted Dixie Bridges lying in the rubble, about 15 feet inside.
“I told her I was coming, made my way through the debris, get a hold of her, pulled her backwards, lifted her backwards to the debris line -- at which point Officer Hiser comes in and grabs her at the waist,” Tooker said.
The officers said Dixie's husband was found wondering in the backyard. He too was badly burned. Today they learned the entire family is slowly getting better.
“I don’t think there’s a better feeling for what we do that everyone is stable, people are going to recover, lives are going to go on,” Tooker said.
Dixie and Charlie Bridges remain in the Parkland Hospital burn unit as they work toward recovery. The driver of the SUV, Enriquez-Castro, remains in ICE custody on an immigration hold.