Rookie cop saves man from burning Florida home

Austin L. Miller
Ocala Star Banner
Walton Sun

Ocala Police Department Officer Jordan Pagano, who entered a burning home and pulled a man to safety last week, was a rookie who had just started patrolling on his own.

In an interview Thursday, Pagano said he doesn’t consider himself a hero, indicating he just did what any officer would do.

“I was the first one there,” he said.

He was on patrol on West Silver Springs Boulevard near Southwest 27th Avenue on the night of Jan. 3 when the call came in about a house on fire with someone possibly inside.

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He wasn't far from the address — 918 NW Ninth St. — so he sped there.

When he got out of his car, Pagano said, a woman pulled up and told him she believed someone was inside. About the same time, a neighbor saw the officer and told him somebody was in the burning, smoked-filled residence.

Without hesitation, Pagano went to the front door and looked inside, using his flashlight. He saw someone hunched over and immediately entered the home.

He approached the man, later identified as Henry Charles Mosley, and tapped him on the shoulder.

“He moaned,” Pagano said.

Mosley was unable to move. So the officer grabbed him and took him outside.

Then the officer and another man carried Mosley across the street.

“I stayed with him until the ambulance arrived,” Pagano said.

Mosley was taken to UF Health Shands Hospital in Gainesville. As of Thursday afternoon, he was still listed in critical condition. According to initial reports, he had burns on his hands and smoke inhalation.

Pagano downplayed his role as a hero, but Police Chief Greg Graham saw it differently.

“He’s a true hero," Graham said. "Words cannot describe how proud I am of him. It shows how quickly he put his life on the line to save a fellow citizen."

Pagano began his career in law enforcement five years ago as a state corrections officer. A few years later, he wanted a change and applied at OPD to work as a dispatcher.

During the hiring process, a new opportunity presented itself. Pagano was told he could be a community service specialist for OPD and see what it's like to be a police officer and familiarize himself with the city.

Pagano started that job in late October 2018. Four months later, he was off to the police academy. Six months after that, Pagano was sworn in as an officer. He was subsequently paired with a training officer.

Pagano completed his training on Dec. 22 and began patrolling on his own.

Twelve days later, the training kicked in.

His actions have not gone unnoticed.

State Rep. Stan McClain's office said he is planning to send Pagano a thank you letter for a job well done.

— Contact Austin L. Miller at 867-4118, or @almillerosb.

This story originally published to, and was shared to other Florida newspapers in the new Gannett Media network.