CARROLLTON, Ga. - A Carrollton woman is praising a police officer for pulling her from her smoke-filled apartment and saving her life. Judith Augustine, 77, said without Officer Matt Jones' quick response, she may not be alive.
Body cam video showed Officer Jones helping Judith Augustine out of her apartment on the night of June 19.
"I got down as low as I could, where the air was the most breathable. I crawled in and I found her about ten to fifteen feet inside the residence," said Officer Jones.
The officer said he was on-duty at the time the call came across the radio. All Jones knew was an elderly woman was in trouble inside her apartment at a nearby senior complex and it was quickly filling with smoke. Officer Jones beat the fire department to the front door, flipped on his body cam, and then entered on all fours to drag her out to safety.
"When I was crawling across the floor, I said, 'Lord please don't let me die like this.' It was really scary," said Judith Augustine.
The 77-year-old woman said she was check out by paramedics and appeared to be fine. She said her apartment filled with smoke from food burning on the stove. Unable to contain the smoke, she crawled to safety, but was unable to use her medical alert device.
"It was not working at the time and I have since gotten it working," said Augustine.
Augustine, who lives alone, said her ordeal is a lesson for others who are elderly, especially those with medical issues like her, which recently forced her to a walker.
On Wednesday, the two saw each other for the first time since the rescue. Augustine said she thanks God that Officer Jones, who was a former volunteer firefighter, decided to stop by to help that fateful night.
"It's part of the job, that's the way I look at it. I mean it really is. I know everybody here would do the same thing," said Jones.
Augustine said she thanks Jones daily.
"If it wasn't for him, I wouldn't be here. He saved my life. We could be having a funeral. Thank god I'm not! Thank God to him!" said Augustine.
She said her apartment sustained some smoke damage, but is still livable.
Jones credits his quick decisive action to training as a police officer and as a volunteer fire fighter.