A Robinson police officer is being recognized for "just doing his job" by dragging a man to safety after his house had caught fire New Year's Eve.
Robinson K-9 Officer Nathaniel Nicklaus was captured on dash camera video dragging fire victim Carl Tarwater, 64, Robinson, to safety from a New Year's Eve fire. Nicklaus' actions may have saved Tarwater's life, buy Nicklaus says he was "just doing his job."
Nicklaus was on patrol at around 7:30 a.m. the morning of Monday, Dec. 31, at Myer and Poplar, when saw flames coming from the back window of the house at 406 E. Poplar. He called the fire into Crawford County Dispatch, parked his patrol car so as to to block traffic and turned on his emergency red and blue lights, which also turned on the dashboard camera.
"I got out and proceeded to walk around the house," Nicklaus said. "I saw the victim laying just outside the back porch, which was very much on fire."
Nicklaus said the victim, who was living in the house and has since been identified as Carl Tarwater, was coherent but he could see he was badly burned around the face, arms and upper body. Nicklaus then dragged Tarwater east across the yard and Myer St., to the neighboring yard away from the fire.
There he waited with Tarwater and neighbors for United Life Care Ambulance Service to arrive.
Tarwater was first transported to Regional Hospital in Terre Haute, Ind., and according to his sister, Janet Tarwater White, was again transported to Eskenazi Hospital Burn Unit in Indianapolis.
According to her Facebook post dated Thursday, "We were able to visit with him today and we still need your prayers. His face was burned from ear to ear and was covered so I couldn't tell how bad but the worst burns are on his hands. They say they will probably start skin grafts on Friday. He is awake - isn't on oxygen, breathing on his own."
It was not until a review of the dash cam video that the Robinson Police realized that Nicklaus efforts were captured. According to RPD Sgt. Dan Strauch the Robinson Fire Department was asking to review police video as part of their investigation of the fire. While reviewing the dash cam video Nicklaus can clearly be seen dragging Tarwater across the yard and street to safety.
"We are very proud of Nathaniel, as we are of all our officers as they perform their duties, and in this case took proper action." said Strauch. "Not surprised, but very proud."
Strauch also pointed out that Nicklaus being on patrol, being the first one to report the fire and his quick actions saved valuable time and probably saved Tarwater's life.
While Nicklaus may have "just been doing his job," he did it very well, and the Robinson Police wants to recognize him for it.
Exactly how he will be recognized has not been officially confirmed by Robinson Police Chief Chad Weaver, but the community can be assured that Nicklaus continues "just doing his job," along with the rest of the Robinson Police Department.