TULSA, Oklahoma - A rookie Tulsa police officer helped save a woman from her burning home.

Officer Danny Cartwright had only been on the job a few weeks when he stepped into a situation he didn't learn about in the academy.

It was chaotic morning when a fire took over a home near Zunis and 12th. Officers saw the smoke and followed it there.

When they pulled up, they found the woman who lives there struggling to breathe, and much too close to the flames.

Cartwright said he remembers the morning of January 9th well. It was a situation his months of training at the Tulsa Police Academy couldn't prepare him for.

"It was very much out of my comfort zone. I never have been on anything like this," he said.

He and Officer Jimmy Jones were driving down the Broken Arrow Expressway near 15th Street when they spotted fire and heavy smoke.

Cartwright said, "You could see, it was three or four in the morning, and you could see the fire. So we just headed straight to the fire."

They arrived before firefighters and immediately ran to the house where they found an elderly woman sitting outside the door.

"Pretty much picked her up. She wasn't doing very well,” Cartwright said.

She was frantic. The fire inside her home continued to grow and she didn't want to leave.

"She said, ‘My cat is in there, is in there,’" Cartwright remembered.

He couldn't let her risk her life, so he and Jones carried her across the street as firefighters took over the scene.

Cartwright said, "I do think, had we not come here, she would have gone back in the house. I don't think there's any doubt in my mind. She had a lot of things in the home, everything she knew was in the house and she wasn't going to let it go."

Like almost any other officer, Cartwright said they didn't do anything special, but the city disagreed and presented both officers with an award for their heroic actions that morning.