Pct. 4 deputy constable climbs balcony of burning apartment, saves woman

A mix of proximity and courage helped save the life of a woman trapped in a burning second-story burning apartment.

A trio of Precinct 4 deputy constables were less than a minute away from a northwest Harris County apartment complex when they heard the call go out that there was a fire.

The deputies made to the complex on Ella near Clear Valley before the first firetruck and immediately saw smoke pouring from one building.

“My buddies were there and it was just, ‘Hey, we got to get it done one way or another,’” Deputy Constable Dexter Flores said.

Flores doesn’t remember exactly how he hoisted himself onto the second-floor balcony of the burning apartment, but he clearly remembers the woman screaming for help.

“Somehow pulled myself up,” Flores said. “She was kind of panicking so (I said), ‘Hey, listen to me, I’m here for you, but you got to help me, help yourself.’”

Flores said the flames and smoke spread so quickly it was impossible to get the woman out through her front door.

“Told the guys, ‘Hey, we have to get her out through here,’” Flores said.

That meant Flores had to hoist the woman over the railing and drop her down to his two fellow deputies.

“When we were getting down, I couldn't breathe, she couldn't breathe. It was, ‘We got to get you out of here,’” Flores said.

Deputy Constables Mateo Ordonez and James Martinez caught the woman, who escaped unharmed. All three deputies then started banging on doors to get everyone out as the fire raced through the building.

Flores is modest, saying what happened was nothing more than teamwork.

“One does part A and one does part B and we get it done,” Flores said.

However, Precinct 4’s Sgt. Tamika Jones said it the was more than teamwork that saved lives.

“I’m very proud of my guys,” Jones said. “It’s mind-blowing, the courage that those gentlemen had to go in there and rescue the female.”

Fortunately, no one was hurt during the fire, which destroyed 16 units. The Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office is working on pinpointing a cause, but investigators said it appears accidental.