OKC Police Officer Helps Others Despite Losing Home In Tornado

Tuesday, June 4th 2013, 9:13 pm
By: News 9

An Oklahoma City police officer lost his home in the May 20 tornado outbreak, but he immediately went to work, trying to save other victims.

Officer Cody Koelsch, his wife Amanda, and five-week-old baby girl Sailor rode out the storm in their underground backyard cellar. And when they got out, they saw their loss.

Complete Coverage: May 2013 Tornado Outbreak

"I can't see my house, but I can see my neighbor's house," recalls Officer Koelsch. "And I tell Amanda, it's all gone!"

"There's water coming out of the ground, there's gas spewing, there's people crying and screaming," remembers his wife Amanda Koelsch. "It's what I would imagine a war zone would look like."

It's still hard for Officer Cody Koelsch and his wife Amanda to relive that day. They still can't believe that through it all, little baby Sailor, never made a peep.

"She slept through the whole thing, the whole thing!" Laughs Officer Koelsch.

But their home of 6 years was reduced to rubble, bringing them to tears. However, Cody knew he had to go help his neighbors in need. And so did Amanda.

"I was glad we were ok," she said. "I just wanted to make sure he stayed OK."

Cody rushed over to help his next door neighbors, who were stuck in their underground garage cellar - which was covered in debris. And then Cody's partner showed up on the scene.

"She's crying, I'm crying, my wife's crying." Officer Koelsch recalls. "We're all still in disbelief."

Cody and his partner then took off running towards Briarwood Elementary School. That's where he encountered a worst case scenario.

While he's treating a woman on the street, he is approached by the mother of two precious children, who did not survive the storm.

"And she says help me, help me, and the baby doesn't look to be 6 months old," he recalls.

"I felt so bad for that mom," cries Amanda. "I can't imagine."

Even with all his belongings gone, Cody kept going.

"The places we thought were safe were not safe and were not there when we came back up," said Amanda. "And judging by everyone else in the neighborhood - you need to be underground in a cellar. And I'm really happy we had one."

Cody and Amanda say at one point, they actually hated having the cellar in their backyard. They thought it was ugly and they wanted to get rid of it. Boy, are they glad they did not.