Police in Illinois have released heart-stopping body camera footage that shows officers climbing on top of a squad car to save a terrified 12-year-old girl from her family's burning second-floor apartment.
The fire that broke out on Monday at the Western Apartments complex on Third Street in Sterling claimed the lives of three people, including two children, and injured the 12-year-old girl and her mother.
According to a statement from Sterling police detective Sgt. Pat Bartel, the fire ignited at around 12.25am and spread through the second floor and the lobby of the building.
A deadly fire in Sterling, Illinois, claimed three lives and left multiple people injured
Police officers and sheriff's deputies arrived on the scene before firefighters and learned that there were people trapped inside the Western Apartments complex
Officers parked a car against the wall of the building and got on top of the roof to reach a second-floor window where they could hear a child screaming
Officers from the Sterling and Rock Falls police departments, and deputies from the Whiteside County Sheriff's Office arrived on the scene before the firefighters and learned that there were people trapped inside the burning building, reported Sauk Valley News.
Officers pulled up a squad car against the side of the building, and as the newly released body camera video shows, one of the cops clambered onto the roof so he could reach a second=floor window.
In the video, an officer shines a flashlight inside the dark apartment and calls out, 'Come here. Come to me.'
A girl's panicked voice is heard from the unit: 'I can't! I feel like I'm gonna die!'
Officers frantically guided the 12-year-old girl toward the window as she screamed, 'I feel like I'm gonna die'
For several minutes, police struggled to get the terrified child to come to them
Finally, the girl approached the window and an officer scooped her up and