WEAU | Eau Claire, Wisconsin | News, Weather, & Sports

Father tased for trying to save son, locals authorities react

By: Olga Michail Email
By: Olga Michail Email

EAU CLAIRE,Wis. (WEAU) -- The family of a 3-year-boy who died in a fire in Missouri is considering legal action against the city of Louisiana, after police tased the step-father of the boy who tried go back in to save the child.
We talked to local firefighters and police on how similar situations are handled here, in this area.

Officer Kyle Roder with the Eau Claire Police Department says every case is unique and each department will respond according to their training and protocol.

Here is the back story:

Missouri investigators say the toddler's step-dad was wearing pajamas and was barefoot. Firefighters tried saving the little boy but the house was too hot to enter.
The man tried getting back into the house several times to save the child.
He was first handcuffed and then tased several times for trying to get back into the burning building.
The city says restraining the man was a "judgment call".

Roder with Eau Claire Police Department he says protocols differ from state to state.

In Wisconsin the use of pepper spray and tasers would be authorized
if a by-stander or family member is trying to get into the building and actively resisting the police; meaning throwing a punch or kicking the officers.

Bryon Benson with the Eau Claire Fire Department says he's been in fires where the temperature reached more than 500 degrees, which could make it life-threatening for the equipped firefighters, melting their gear.

And Benson says for unequipped individual heading back into a burning building the changes of survival are close to 0 percent.

“The incidents of someone trying to get back into the house, it doesn't happen all that often; but when we do see it, for the safety of the people, if we think the situation is that bad, we’re going to do our best to keep them out of the building,” said Benson.

He adds, rescue personal going into fires that are too dangerous, could make the situation worse and puts even more lives at risk.


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