Birmingham Police officers helped narrowly avert what could have been a tragic accident Tuesday night on Webster, pulling a mother and her three-year-old daughter from a home full of smoke.
According to police reports, officers were first called to the scene around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday, responding to a complaint about a barking dog on the 1300 block of Webster.
Upon arrival, Officers Rebekah Springer and Tony Giannola saw smoke issuing from a home. No one answered the door, reports state.
After forcing their way into the home, police found the 31-year-old woman and her three-year-old daughter asleep despite the smoke filling the house. Police say a pot of rice had been left burning on the stove, with the stove set to high.
Both the woman and her daughter received medical treatment by paramedics from the Birmingham Fire Department, though both were unharmed.
According Birmingham Police Cmdr. Terry Kiernan, the woman told police that she had started cooking the rice at midnight and fell asleep with the stove on high.
However, officers determined the woman had been drinking that night, Kiernan said, and reports have been submitted to the appropriate agencies regarding any possible charges.
Birmingham Fire Marshal Lyal Bigger said the home sustained some smoke damage but noted he wasn't called to the scene to investigate.
"It could have been a big one," he said.
"(It) probably would have had a different ending if no one called on the barking dog," Kiernan said, adding that the department's midnight's supervisor will likely be nominating Giannola and Springer for an award for their bravery.