OSHKOSH (NBC 26) — Mellissa Stadtmueller and her two children were asleep Saturday when she was suddenly woken up by a fire that had broken out in their kitchen.
She sprung into action, calling 911 and getting her children to the roof. The Oshkosh Police Department was the first on the scene.
"When I got out there the first thing I saw as I'm running up the driveway was one of my officers carrying the youngest son out to an ambulance,” said Brian Schuldes, the supervisor on scene.
The officers were able to find a latter in the family’s garage and use it to safely rescue the family, their two dogs, and their cat from an upstairs window.
"As a boss, being able to watch the officers work was incredible, the dedication and the courage that I saw from our officers and the firefighters that day as well as the family," said Schudles."To have those two kids, a five-year-old, and a twelve-year old, come out into an officers arms and be confident that they’re going to be safe was incredible.”
The family had three smoke detectors in the house but none of them went off during the fire. They had no idea the batteries had died.
"The fire marshal told me 'Hey these are crazy old' and I know for a fact I never changed them. We’ve been in our house seventeen years and we’ve never changed our smoke detectors,” said Doug Stadtmueller, who was out shopping at the time the fire occurred.
They say they want to warn other families not to make the same mistake. That smoke detectors need to be changed out every ten years.
"Just do it right away," Doug said. "Just stop whatever you’re doing and just do it because I don’t know if everybody can get as lucky as I did.”
As the family recovers from the fire, they say the support from their community has been overwhelming.
"I have so much pride in my city right now," Doug said. "When something like this happens people want to help each other. They want to be there for each other.”