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Miami Beach police officers rescue blind woman from house fire

Body camera videos show officers guiding woman through smoke-filled home

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – Two Miami Beach police officers rescued a blind woman after her house caught on fire early Monday, authorities said.

Just after midnight, Officer Alex Llaneras, with the K-9 unit, was on patrol and noticed heavy smoke coming from a house in the 4500 block of Post Avenue, according to the incident report. When Llaneras rushed over to help, homeowner Manishjay Spitz opened the front door and told Llaneras that his wife, who is legally blind, was trapped in their bedroom, the report said.

Officer Ralph Vega joined Llaneras and both officers entered the house and found Shelley Spitz in the bedroom coughing and calling for help. The officers then led her out of the house to safety. The rescue was captured on their body cameras.

Another officer and paramedics from Miami Beach Fire Rescue arrived soon after.

Miami Beach police officers Alex Llaneras (left) and Ralph Vega
Miami Beach police officers Alex Llaneras (left) and Ralph Vega

The paramedics treated the Spitzs, Llaneras and Vega for smoke inhalation. The Spitzs declined to be treated at a hospital, but the officers were taken to Mount Sinai Medical Center as a precaution.

According to the report, Shelley Spitz said she has been using a slow cooker and forgot it was still turned on and went to sleep. The slow cooker eventually caught fire, causing serious damage to the kitchen. Fortunately, the fire did not spread to the other rooms of the house.

Police said the Spitzes are staying with neighbors while repairs are made to their home.