ELBERTA, Ala. (WKRG) — Running into a burning house and saving a woman’s life, that’s why we honor an Elberta Police Officer with our Smiles Behind the Shield Award for the month of June.

Officer Mike Tomaso had a birthday he probably won’t forget anytime soon. He was surprised by our Smiles Behind the Shield team honoring him for rescuing a woman from a burning home.

When Officer Tomaso got to a house fire at Pilgrim Road and County Road 83, he said he saw flames shooting from the back right side. “Luckily, I was right at State and Main, like right in downtown,” said Tomaso.

He said when he initially got to the house, people nearby didn’t know if anyone was still inside. “I went around to the front door and I kicked it in and went inside and yelled, you know, [said] your house is on fire. And announced myself,” said Tomaso.

Tomaso went outside and around the house looking through windows for signs of anyone inside. “And then I heard some people yelling that somebody was inside the house,” said Tomaso.

“Went back inside the house, and there she was,” said Tomaso. “A lot of people, when they when they wake up to a to a fire, they’re kind of confused. And she’s going after her dog. And I said, I’ll get your dog. And I get her to go out the front door.”

Officer Tomaso said that dog survived, but he later learned another dog was inside the house and passed away.

Mike’s wife Becky Tomaso was also there as we presented her husband with the award. “As a police officer’s wife or spouse that you send them out all the time and you don’t really know everything they do,” said Becky Tomaso. “And sometimes you don’t want to know what they do because they do things that are super dangerous. And you’re you know, it’s scary, but we’re really proud of him.”

WKRG News 5 and our Smiles Behind the Shield partners would like to congratulate Elberta Police Officer Mike Tomaso who went above and beyond the call of duty making a big impact in our community.