On May 14, 2008 at 1:26 am, Officer Clint Stephenson was on routine patrol in the 400 block of Dale Avenue. Officer Stephenson detected a strong odor of smoke in the air. He subsequently located the source of the smoke to be 430 Dale Avenue and observed that the residence was on fire. He contacted dispatch and requested the fire department.
Officer Stephenson immediately went to the front door and began pounding and ringing the doorbell in an attempt to awaken the residents. After getting no response at the door, he realized the imminent danger to anybody who would be in the residence. Officer Stephenson began to kick the front door to force it open. After the third kick, the door broke open. Still alone, Officer Stephenson put his own personal safety aside and entered the residence to locate the residents. He was met by the male and female residents that were woken by the sound of the door breaking open, and he led them out of the residence to safety. Officer Stephenson’s initiative in locating the source of the smoke and immediate action in getting the occupants to safety likely kept this incident from becoming tragedy.