Trooper Uses Firefighter Instincts, Saves Rogers County Home

Monday, February 17th 2014, 5:38 pm
By: Craig Day

A state trooper breaking into a fire station made all the difference in saving houses in the path of another fast moving fire.

State Trooper Russell Cissne knew just what equipment was needed Friday, knew it was needed fast, and knew he couldn't let a locked fire station stand in his way.

Cissne smelled smoke while driving on Highway 88 Friday afternoon. With the strong wind, and houses nearby, he knew it could be bad.

"It's a very volatile situation right now with the weather," Cissne said.

He quickly got horses out of a corral, moving them to safety, and called for help, then started watering everything down. Soon after, Rogers County Deputy Paul Tucker and a partner showed up.

"I wanted to be a policeman, not a fireman, so it was a different experience for me. I'm not trained in that type of stuff, but I knew I had to do something," Tucker said.

Tucker used a garden hose to slow down flames heading toward diesel tanks and a barn, but there wasn't much water pressure.

"There wasn't any stopping it with a garden hose, that's for sure," said Cissne.

Knowing it could be a while before volunteer firefighters showed up, since the fire happened in the middle of the afternoon while most are at work, Trooper Cissne suddenly left.

He went straight to the Tiawah fire station a mile down the road and broke into the station to take a grass rig.

"One volunteer did show up, so he and I did commandeered a grass truck, responded down here and was able to get the fire knocked down and at least contained," Cissne said.

"I turned around and I looked and saw a fire truck coming up the road, and I saw Trooper Cissne driving it, and I just didn't know what to think, I was kind of in awe," Tucker said.

Only later did Tucker find out that Cissne broke into the fire station. Turns out, Cissne volunteered at that station for five years before becoming a state trooper. That experience, combined with quick thinking, kept the fires from burning homes.

"We all worked together, and saved some property so it was a good day," Cissne said.

Deputy Tucker had to be treated for smoke inhalation because of the fire, but didn't have to be hospitalized.