Nashville’s Lesbian hero: the biggest flames I’ve ever seen

Amanda Topping Nashville's lesbian hero
Image: Metro Nashville Police Department

The woman proclaimed Nashville’s lesbian hero after the Christmas Day explosion in the city, described the blast as the biggest flames she’d ever seen. Amanda Topping told News Channel 5 she headed to the scene after talking to her wife on the phone.

“My wife had just called because it was toward the end of our shift, so she was seeing what time I was coming home. Well, I told her we were about to head to this call, it’s a little strange.”


After receiving the call, Topping and fellow officer James Wells drove to downtown Nashville. On the scene, they initially parked beside the vehicle that later exploded. Fortunately, they then decided to move the police car.

Topping said she felt, ‘Something’s not right’.

Evacuate now

“I heard what the RV was saying, and it’s stuff that I’ll never forget. It was a female voice saying, ‘Your primary objective is to evacuate. Evacuate now’.”

The six police on the scene initially focussed on traffic control and evacuating nearby buildings.

Due to finish her shift, Amanda Topping took another all from her wife.

“I was getting really antsy… I had talked to my wife again and told her things were really strange.”

With the area mostly cleared, Topping stood by her police car to survey the scene.

The announcements coming from the vehicle stopped. Instead, Petula Clark’s ‘Downtown’ blared out.

Topping started walking towards her partner, Officer James Wells, just before the explosion.

“I was probably about ten steps away from him. And we’re just walking towards each other and I just saw the biggest flames I’ve ever seen. The biggest explosion.

“I saw him stumble, and I felt it. I felt the heatwave.

“I don’t know how I kept my footing. I kinda blanked and I couldn’t see him for a second and I just lost it and started to sprint towards him.


“And like he said, I’ve never grabbed somebody so hard in my life. I grabbed him. He grabbed me and just ducked into a doorway because we didn’t know what was coming afterwards.”

Nashville’s lesbian hero and fellow officers saved lives

The actions of Nashville’s lesbian hero and the other five officers were credited with saving lives by the local police chief.

“They might not think they’re heroes because they go about this job each and every day, but they are our heroes, and they had a really heroic effort that morning.”

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