Clovis police officer first to see building on fire, saves lives

Ofc. Eric Taifane's fast-action saved the lives of several people who were inside a burning building in Clovis.

Officer Eric Taifane has been with the Clovis Police Department for eight years, and he says on Tuesday, he was just doing his job.

Ofc. Taifane was at the intersection of Shaw and Peach when he noticed a building just to his South on fire.

He checked his call logs, to see if it had been reported. It hadn't.

“It was really strange because there was a pretty good fire going on, and a lot of smoke coming from the building, and nobody called yet. And maybe people were in the process at the time I saw it, I don’t know.," says Taifane.

So he sprung into action.

Taifane went up to the building and made sure to get everyone inside, out, and fast.

However, he says when he went into Antojitos Selenes he ran into a language barrier.

“I don’t really think they knew what was going on at the time. But after a few times of me yelling, saying ‘hey, come on let's go.’ I think they realized there's something going on, let’s go check it out. And then they came out and they see the fire themselves, and I think that is when they realized that was the fire I was talking about," says Taifane.

He says he didn't think, he just acted.

"There’s no thought or question about it. You just do it. Whatever happens, happens. You try to take steps to minimize you know what the effects of that could be, but you have to do something. You can’t just stand there and watch," he says.

In just minutes, the building was engulfed in flames, but everyone who was inside was safe thanks to the fast-acting officer who says he was just nearby and had to act.

According to the Clovis Fire Department, investigators are still trying to determine a cause.

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