Officer Mike Wooldridge and his trusty K9 companion Bosco were on their way to a training session at the Long Beach Police Academy about 7:30 this morning when he noticed people waving at him from the corner of Bellflower and Del Amo in Lakewood.
It seems a car was on fire, as it sat next to the gas pumps at the ARCO station. ''I saw the flames coming out of the car, I figured it wasn't good to have that next to the gas pumps''. He was of course calm cool and collected as most first responders are as he relayed this story to me about 6 hours later. He checked to make sure no one was left in the car that was burning, and used his police car to push it away from the pumps. Employee Marinel Perucho had run out with a fire extinguisher (after smartly remembering to push the emergency cut off switch stopping fuel flow to the pumps) but the flames were too big . She ran back in, called 911, by that time the Fire Dept. was on the way and in about a minute the car fire was out, the danger had passed, and Wooldridge was back on his way to train with Bosco .
It was a moment in time that could've resulted in a disaster, but it didn't because of his quick thinking . A woman passing by with her son, Mary Erickson, was so impressed she emailed us at Fox 11 the photo and told us about Wooldridge, and that's how we ended up doing this story. She said ''I just thought he deserved a pat on the back for what he did. It was so brave.'' Wooldridge, typically humble, told me " We don't do it for the glory we do it to help people. That's what I was thinking. I didn't want the gas station to explode." Thank you.
KTTV FOX 11 1999 S. Bundy Dr. Los Angeles CA 90025