Two Smithfield Police officers were recognized Tuesday night with a Life Saving Award for rescuing a woman from a burning home.
Lt. Ryan Sheppard and Officer Sean Cook were presented the award medals from Mayor Pro Tem Emery Ashley during the July meeting of the Smithfield Town Council.
Around 5:00am on January 30th, the officers were summoned to a house fire at 116 South Fifth Street, adjacent to the Smithfield Police station. When they arrived they saw heavy smoke coming from the home and determined people were still inside.
Even though the home was filled with smoke, they officers entered the residence with no regard for their own person safety to look for anyone still inside.
The two officers found Helen Davis and after several attempts were able to get her outside to safety and without any injury to her. One other resident, Michael Davis, was upstairs and officers could not reach him due to heavy smoke and flames. He perished in the blaze.
Interim Police Chief Keith Powell said Lt. Sheppard and Officer Cook’s actions “demonstrate the commitment and dedication to serve and protect the citizens of Smithfield.”
“Police officers are often the first to arrive on the scene which are chaotic and dangerous but they don’t hesitate to take the challenge that lies before them,” Powell said. “Their actions kept this situation from being a double tragedy that day for the family.”
Chief Powell said the Smithfield Fire Department was also quick to respond to the scene of the fire. Scene photos by John Payne