WPD officer helps women who caught fire at restaurant

WICHITA, Kan. Monday, May 14

The Wichita Fire Department is still trying to determine how two women were severely burned Friday night.

Lt. Jose Ocadiz says Wichita Police Officer says both women, who are employees at Rostizeria Los Reyes, 508 W. 21st St. N., remain in critical condition.

He says the restaurant was closed when the fire happened.

He says a Wichita Police Officer was able to use his baton to smash through the front door to get to the women. He used his hands to extinguish one woman. The second woman was already extinguished.

Ocadiz says both women suffered 2nd and 3rd-degree burns.

Investigators don't know if the fire was started intentionally or if it was an accident.
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Saturday, May 12 - 9 p.m.

New video shows the moment a woman runs out of a local Mexican restaurant on fire.

Judy Dizazzo attends Bethany Revival Center, a church located across the street from Rostizeria Los Reyes. She says she was watching a movie when she heard some commotion.

"Later, when I rolled back on the security footage, I could clearly see, the woman, the first woman had come running out of the restaurant running and she was completely on fire," recalls Dizazzo.

Bethany Revival Center has 31 security cameras surrounding its building.

Dizazzo says they catch everything, and one of them just happened to be pointed at the restaurant.

"Police came, surrounded and they took her to the hospital by ambulance, a few minutes later they brought out another individual that was wrapped in a white sheet," she remembers.

Investigators say an officer was working in the area when he saw the woman on fire.

Police say the woman told the officer her sister was also inside on fire. The officer then tried to get into the building to rescue the other woman but the doors were locked.

He broke into the business through the glass front door and saved the other woman. She also had severe burns.

The women's family call the officer an angel and say they're grateful for saving his life-saving efforts.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to them and the family and everyone involved. I can't imagine how scary that must have been," says Dizazzo.

Both women suffered critical injuries in the fire. The officer also had some minor injuries.

Investigators have not said what caused the women to catch on fire.

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Saturday, May 12

Three people are hurt, including a Wichita Police officer, after a fire at a restaurant in N. Wichita late Friday.

An officer on patrol saw a woman who was on fire run from Rostizeria Los Reyes restaurant in the 500 block of W. 21st Street at around 9:00 p.m.

The officer stopped and helped pat the fire out with his hands. The woman then said that her sister was inside the business and also on fire.

The officer tried to get into the business, but the doors were locked. He then broke out a window to get inside where he found the second woman on fire.

Again, the officer used his hands to put out the fire.

Both women were taken to the hospital with serious burn injuries. The officer also suffered minor injuries.

The business was closed at the time.

The Wichita Fire Department is investigating what caused the fire.

In a release Saturday morning, police credited the officer's quick actions, bravery and heroism in saving the women's lives and preventing further damage to the business.
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Original Story: Friday, May 11

Two people have suffered critical burn injuries in a restaurant fire near 21st and Waco in north Wichita.

We're told a police officer relayed the emergency call shortly after 9 p.m., making the report of seeing someone on fire.

The report came from the area of the Los Reyes Mexican Buffet which is at the center of the investigation. The glass to the restaurant's front door is broken. A fire official tells us the restaurant was closed at the time of the fire and an officer broke the glass to get inside.

A woman who was across the street from the restaurant at the time of the fire gave Eyewitness News a first-hand account of what she witnessed as first responders arrived.

She said she saw a woman come out of the restaurant, wearing only her underwear and carrying a purse. Then, she said she saw emergency crews load the woman into an ambulance. A few minutes later, she said, she saw another person come out of the restaurant wrapped in a sheet. An ambulance also took this person to a local hospital in critical condition.

Stay with Eyewitness News for updates as we gather further information from investigators.