Rochester police commission recognizes heroic actions during residential fire

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ROCHESTER — During a recent monthly Police Commission meeting, three individuals were recognized for their heroic efforts during a residential fire.

One officer and two dispatchers worked together to respond to the emergency and ensure the safety of those involved.

On January 22, 2023, at 1:20 pm, Communications Specialist Andrew Neal called into the dispatch center directly to calmly report that his home was on fire.

While still on the phone with Communications Specialist Eric Pike, Neal mentioned that he was working on getting himself and his wife out of the residence.

As soon as the call disconnected, the dispatch center quickly sprang into action.

Specialist Pike immediately dispatched police units to the residence and notified nearby agencies, including Dover and Somersworth Fire departments, to respond to the scene automatically.

Meanwhile, Specialist Michelle Bowley put out a tone for the Rochester Fire Department to respond to the structure fire in progress and assisted with making notifications.

Officer Nicholas Alexander arrived on the scene first and quickly took action to help the homeowners.

He grabbed the fire extinguisher from his cruiser and entered the home, which showed flames coming from the roof and black smoke coming from the second-floor windows.

Officer Alexander located the homeowners and helped them exit the residence safely.

His brave actions gave the family an opportunity to get down the stairs without being trapped in the residence.

The teamwork and professionalism of Communications Specialists Pike and Bowley were exemplary during a chaotic and stressful call involving someone they work with regularly.

They worked together to notify nearby agencies for more manpower to assist in battling the fire. Their efforts were recognized with the Distinguished Unit Award.

Officer Alexander’s bravery during the incident showed the dedication that officers are willing to make to risk their lives for residents in need.

In recognition of his bravery, he was awarded the Medal for Bravery.

In a heartfelt moment, Andrew Neal issued the award to Officer Alexander on stage.

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