Red Cross Real Hero Christopher Wharff

Wayne Harvey

Updated 5 years ago

It was nearly three in the morning on July 29th of last year when Officer Christopher Wharff was on patrol in Northeast Harbor.Suddenly, his radio crackled to life with a call from dispatch.That is the night Officer Wharff became a Red Cross Real Hero.That call from dispatch let him know that there was a report of smoke at Colonel’s on Main Street in Northeast Harbor. Wharff was just on the other side of town and made his way there.” There was a whole crowd of people in front of Colonels and there were flames shooting up the side of the building at that point I told dispatch that it was an active fire and that we had flames everywhere and it wasn’t good.”Then he started talking to those on hand.” I was asking everybody if they know if there was anyone in the surrounding apartments because there was obviously buildings on both sides and they didn’t think there was anybody in the building to the right of it which was the Joy Building but one person said they thought there was somebody in the Wingspread which is where Thistle’s place was to the left of Colonels if you’re looking at it from the road, so at that point I just kind of ran up the stairs on the side of the Wingspread up to the 2nd floor which is where the apartment was and started hollering and scream ing and after a couple minutes I got a reply from up on the third floor so I obviously had to go wake her up.”” You could see flames out the second story window at this point and it was starting to get a little smokey inside, it wasn’t too bad but you could see the flames coming up the side of the building. And I went up stairs and at that point Thistle kind of woke up and I told her what was going on and she was kind of stunned at first but she was able to get up and get dressed.”They were in the apartment for a little more than a minute gathering some of Thistle’s things and the situation was getting worse by the second.” At that point I kind of forced her out, she wanted to grab some more things but it was pretty full of smoke at this point and we made it down over the stairs. I don’t remember looking at anything on the second floor other than turning left and heading out the door, and then we just kind of waited in the street for the fire fighters to get there.”” Another ten minutes in there and who knows what would have happened. She might have, the fire fighters might have been able to get her out who knows what would have happened but I don’t think she realized what was going on and the danger she was in.”Officer Wharff didn’t stop to think about the danger he was putting himself in either when he was making his way into a burning building, just to see if anyone was still inside.” At the point that I went in, I didn’t feel that it was a major risk really. Once I got up there and it started to fill with smoke I realized that it could have been dangerous and more so afterwards when this whole thing was over you know when the building went up in flames and ten minutes later there was smoke pouring out of it I realized, that if somebody hadn’t gone to wake her up she probably wouldn’t have made it.”But the attention after the fact is not something he was expecting or is really comfortable with.” It feels good to know that people care and that we get recognized for something that we do like this. I’m a pretty humble person and I don’t, if Chief Willis hadn’t nominated me for this I wouldn’t have accepted it, I think that what I did was part of my job and that anybody else would have done the same thing, so I have a hard time seeing why I should get recognized before anyone else that does the same thing every day.”


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