RUMFORD — Police Chief Tony Milligan praised two officers Monday for their efforts in rescuing tenants trapped or forced to jump from two burning apartment buildings on Hancock Street late Sunday night.

Patrolman Ashley Rich Submitted photo

Sgt. James Bernard and Patrolman Ashley Rich were credited for their quick action.

“They are the heroes, and our community is fortunate to have them as among our guardians,” Milligan said in a statement Monday morning.

He said officers first rescued a female trapped in a first-floor apartment of a three-story building at 105 Hancock St.

As they continued to assist tenants and began searching for others, they were forced back by intense heat and smoke. They shifted their attention to screams for help coming from a three-story apartment building at 101 Hancock St., which had caught on fire.

Sgt. James Bernard Submitted photo

One male jumped from the third floor to the ground after being trapped by flames. Officers learned two females were trapped on the third floor, and when officers determined the two were about to be overcome by the fire, they instructed them to jump out the window and then dragged them to safety afterward, Milligan said.

A third apartment building, which was vacant, also caught fire.

Milligan said six people were taken to Rumford Hospital for treatment for smoke inhalation and injuries suffered from jumping out windows.

All three apartment buildings were a total loss.

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