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An alert police officer helped his Mokena neighbors escape a fire Wednesday night that tore through their Daniel Trail home.
At 10:30 p.m., about half of the two-story house at 11016 Daniel Trail was a burnt-out shell after firefighters put out the blaze, reported as a heavy fire that extended into the second floor.
Four people and a family dog got out safely after David Podkul, who lives two houses away, noticed something wrong as he went to his car to get a golf club.
"I saw orange flames and heard a crackling sound that sounded like fireworks," Podkul said. He got his wife, Cheryl, and they both ran to house to alert the residents to the fire and help them get out.
Podkul is a part-time police officer in the Manhattan Police Department and teaches social studies at Stagg High School in Palos Hills.
"I'd do this for anyone," he said at about 10:30 Wednesday night as crews from the Mokena Fire Protection District began packing up their gear.
The residents who fled the fire, which began sometime after 9 p.m., were huddled at a next-door neighbor's home late Wednesday. Several witnesses told Patch no one was hurt.
Firefighters from Orland, Frankfort and New Lenox fire districts also responded to the fire, and Nicor was on the scene as well to check on the gas line.
Patch will update with more information as it becomes available.