BATESVILLE — During Monday’s city council meeting, Aaron Sloan and his family thanked Batesville Police Officer Travis Cook for rescuing them from a fatal fire at their residence at 106 Park Ave. on Aug. 31.
“If it wasn’t for this man right here doing what he does best, we wouldn’t be here talking with you guys now,” Sloan said. “I thank God everyday.”
Batesville Mayor Mike Bettice said the events of Aug. 31 were both tragic and heroic.
A life was lost, but lives were also saved.
The Sloan family considers Officer Cook as a hero. They gave him an engraved, wooden plaque to show their thanks.
On the night of the fire, Officer Cook saw flames on the lower level of the residence when he arrived on scene. The Sloan family lived in a second floor apartment in the building.
Officer Cook woke the family, informed them about the fire and helped them exit the building safely
After exiting, one of the Sloan family’s children stood near the burning structure. Officer Cook retrieved the child and brought him to safety.
“I’d do it again in a heartbeat,” Officer Cook told the Sloan family.
Flames spread in the building while the aforementioned actions unfolded. Explosions, which were later believed to be oxygen tanks, were reported.
“The house was fully engulfed in fire at that time. Due to the fact that the fire spread so quickly and the residence was fully engulfed within only a couple of minutes, I believe Patrolman Cook’s actions saved the lives of the family who lived upstairs,” Mayor Bettice said. “If he had been a minute or more later in getting there or had hesitated to act, I believe there is a very good chance the family would not be alive today. The Sloan family reached out to us and asked if they could come tonight to publicly thank Officer Cook.”
Batesville Chief of Police Stan Holt commended Officer Cook for his actions the night of the fire.
“Travis is a family man too. He has three little boys at home,” Chief Holt said. “I’m very proud to have the best of the best that we have here working in the community.”