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Body cameras show a man rescued from a house fire sparked from a Pop-Tart

"He grabbed his legs and we were like, we gotta get out of here," says Corporal Travis Detring of Ellisville Police.
Credit: Ellisville Police

In a moment of crisis, we all hope we'll make the right decision.

Bill and Peggy Cruse nearly lost their lives Dec. 9, when toasting a Pop-Tart went incredibly wrong.

Corporal Travis Detring of Ellisville Police was the first on the scene.

"I responded to the scene, met one of the residents at the front door who was frantic," Detring said.

Detring first encountered Peggy at the door. He encouraged her to get out of the house safely and then started combing through the burning home. He finally found Bill in a back bedroom.

"Come on man, stand up," Detring said in police body camera video obtained by 5 On Your Side.

Travis's partner, Officer Chris Annis arrived on the scene just in the nick of time.

"I enter the house and I hear him calling from the back left bedroom that there’s somebody that needs to get out," said Annis.

"He grabbed his legs and we were like, we gotta get out of here," said Detring.

Together, they carried Bill out of the house and back into the loving arms of his wife.

"They’re very brave people, who wants to walk into a fire?" said Peggy.

The source of the flames? Something we all probably have in our pantry. Pop-Tarts.

"The second half stayed in the toaster and I could see that fruit. I was looking at it thinking, how am I going to get that out of the toaster and before I knew it, flames shot out of that line of fruit that you could see," said Peggy.

Metro West Fire Officials say Peggy did exactly the right thing, she immediately called 911.

"They were there in 2 minutes," she said.

Not a moment too soon.

Travis's body camera actually fell off at one point during the rescue. You can see in video, captured from the floor of Bill's bedroom, smoke filling the room in a matter of seconds.

"If they hadn’t responded that fast, I don’t know if I could have gotten him out," said Peggy.

In moments of crisis, we all hope we'll make the right decision. In this case, it was true for everyone involved.

"That’s why we do our jobs. We’re out there to serve and protect our communities," said Detring.

"They’re all great," said Bill.

Family members say there is extensive fire and smoke damage in the kitchen and various parts of the house. So they won’t be home for the holidays but the family is grateful they still have each other.

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