La Vista police officers forced open a garage door and extinguished a fire this weekend after a man lit gasoline on fire inside the structure.
Just after 5:35 a.m. Saturday, officers were called to the Brentwood Park Apartments, 10736 Brentwood Drive, to investigate a report of an argument in the parking lot between a man and a woman.
Police said the woman went into an apartment and the man went into a nearby garage and shut the garage door.
The woman told police where the man had gone and that he intended to kill himself by lighting himself on fire.
Body cameras worn by the officers captured the scene. The footage, shared online Monday by the department, starts with officers trying to get the man to open the door.
Early Saturday LVPD responded to a disturbance at an apartment complex. A male had gone in to a nearby garage. He poured gasoline in the locked garage unit and lit it on fire in an attempt to kill himself. Officers forced entry and pulled the man out. pic.twitter.com/wJej5cYKGf— La Vista Police (@lavistapolice) September 30, 2019
"Dude, if it's just an argument, it's no big deal," one officer told him through the closed garage door. "People argue all the time."
"It's really important that you talk to us, man," another officer said. "We don't know what's going on."
"Come on, man. We don't want maintenance to have to come out at 6 o'clock in the morning to open a garage door," an officer said.
Then liquid, which turned out to be gasoline, seeped underneath the garage door, followed by flames. The officers backed away and called for the fire department.
The officers then used fire extinguishers on the flames and worked to get the garage door open, kicking it and pulling on the aluminum door.
When the opening in the garage door was large enough, officers entered the garage and broke windows on a car inside as they looked for the man.
The officers then found the man in front of the vehicle and pulled him out of the garage. One of the officers who had medical training started tending to the man, said La Vista Police Chief Bob Lausten.
The fire department took the man to Midlands Hospital in Papillion, where Lausten said he was treated for smoke inhalation before being placed in emergency protective custody.
One of the officers was treated for smoke inhalation at the scene, Lausten said.
The chief said he's extremely proud of how his officers responded to save the man's life.
"You can be a crime fighter," he said, "but you have to deal with the other issues that society brings us."