FRANKFORT, Ind. --
Residents in a Frankfort neighborhood are calling a local police officer a hero after he rescued an elderly woman from her burning home.
Frankfort Police Officer Josh Danner was just a couple of blocks away when he heard a 911 dispatch call about a burning home on Main Avenue early Thursday morning.
Vernabell Boulden, 84, was trapped inside the home, 6News' Tanya Spencer reported.
When Danner arrived, the front of Boulden's home was engulfed in flames.
"There was no way for anybody to exit the front of the house," said Danner. "I went back toward the back of the house."
Danner kicked in a locked gate leading into the back yard, then tore through a locked screen door to get to the back door of the house. When he opened it, he was overwhelmed by dense, black smoke that initially pushed him back.
That's when Danner heard a faint moan coming from inside the house.
"I asked her if she could move; she said she couldn't," Danner said.
Danner chose not to wait for firefighters. Instead, he crawled through the heat and smoke to rescue Boulden and carry her to safety.
"When we looked out the window, he was already carrying her from the back of the house (just as) the fire trucks were pulling in," said neighbor Sheila Harshbarger. "I think he's a hero. In my book, he is."
"He wasn't thinking about his own safety. He was thinking of somebody else, and that's great," said neighbor Daniel Kauffman.
Danner said he doesn't like being called a hero, and that the feeling of saving a life is "indescribable."
"To see her family crying and happy that she's out, it just kind of warms your heart," Danner said.
Although Boulden inhaled a lot of smoke, she refused to go to the hospital, but is said to be doing well.
Her son said he believes Danner saved his mother's life and that their family is extremely grateful to him.
Her son also called Boulden's dog a hero. He believes his mother would have died in her sleep if not for the dog.
Danner said the dog refused to leave her side during the fire. It wasn't until Boulden was being carried out that the dog finally left the burning home.
An official cause on what sparked the blaze inside Boulden's home is under investigation.
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