By Amanda Thomason  March 27, 2022 at 1:36pm

A fire broke out in Willow Springs, Illinois, in the wee morning hours of March 21, but thankfully the residents were alerted to the danger.

When police officers arrived on the scene at about 1:30 a.m., at least one man had been able to exit the house — but he said his mother was still trapped inside.

The elderly woman, confined to using a walker, was trapped upstairs and couldn’t get out of the house, so the officers jumped into action.

The Willow Springs Police Department shared a post on Facebook praising the quick work of their officers, as well as the Tri-State Fire Department.

“When the first responding police officers arrived on scene, they observed smoke coming from the roof area of the house,” the police department wrote.

“They were immediately able to speak to one of the residents in the garage and learned that his mother was still in the house and in her bedroom located on the second floor. Fortunately, at this time the house was not filled or overcome with heavy smoke. The two officers proceeded to locate the elderly female in an upstairs bedroom, and were able to assist her with her walker down the stairs and out of the house safely.

“The responding Willow Springs Police Officers took all the necessary precautions of evacuating all the occupants of the house, and then secured the area for arrival of the Tri-State Fire Department.

“The Tri-State Fire Department extinguished the fire with no report of injury to the occupants of the house, or to any of the first responders.”

The officers also managed to get the family dog to safety, and everyone is expected to be fine.

While the home was not completely destroyed, there was “moderate damage,” and the blaze was determined to have originated in a wood-burning fireplace.

Since the rescue, one of the officers has been named: Officer Anthony Vosicky, who is being lauded as a hero for his selfless actions.

“Great adrenaline,” he said of the rescue while speaking to WBBM-TV. “You know, you didn’t even think about rescue, I just thought about going in there, of course, and making sure everybody’s safe.”

The community has recognized their member’s efforts, including Montini Catholic High School, the school Vosicky formerly attended.

“Montini would like to recognize 2015 graduate Anthony Vosicky for his bravery!” the school posted on Tuesday.

“Officer Vosicky helped rescue an elderly woman from a house fire. Thank you for your service Officer Vosicky!”

Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she’s strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.

As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn’t really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.

She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she’s had teal hair.

With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children’s books with her husband, Edward.


Austin, Texas

Languages Spoken

English und ein bißchen Deutsch

Topics of Expertise

Faith, Animals, Cooking


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