Phil Trexler

Two Akron police officers went inside a burning house early Tuesday to save a man who might have been trying to harm himself, firefighters said.

Officer Chris Crockett and Derrick Jackson are being credited for going inside the smoke-filled Adelaide Boulevard home at about 2 a.m. to pull the man, 44, from the home.

Police said the man ignored orders to exit the house on his own, and the officers went inside and found him in a hallway. They dragged him outside, where he was treated by paramedics.

Crockett said in an interview later Tuesday morning that he and Jackson arrived before firefighters. It was Jackson who saw the front door open and went inside.

“The whole house was completely full of smoke. You couldn’t see a thing in front of you,” Crockett said.

Crockett then went back outside to get a special mask he uses when collecting evidence from homes where methamphetamine was made. Using the mask, Crockett found the man.

Fire Capt. Al Bragg said it appears the man started the fire by igniting a pile of clothes in the basement. He was found in a first-floor room by Crockett and carried out.

The man was taken to Summa Akron City Hospital for treatment for smoke inhalation, police said. He is now being treated at the Akron Children’s Hospital burn unit.

No one else was inside the house.

Bragg said smoke damaged much of the residence.