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North Vernon officers honored for bravery

Three North Vernon police officers were recognized by the City Council last night for their valor.

Sgt. Andrew Richmond, and officers Scott Willis and Christopher Campbell were honored for saving the life of a woman trapped in a burning apartment building on May 12th.

Sgt. Richmond said that officers were called to the Lincoln Place Apartments on a report of thick black smoke in the hallway. The officers entered the home and fought through heavy smoke, at some points crawling on their hands and knees armed only with gas masks to rescue the woman and a kitten.

"Officer Willis actually entered in through the front lobby and there were a couple of people standing there in the smoke, and they pointed him down the hallway," Richmond said. "He dropped down to his belly and crawled down a, probably, 40-foot long hallway on his belly down to where me and Officer Campbell had entered through the back entrance. That is where we determined which door the smoke was coming out of.

"At this point, I would say that our visibility was about two feet in front of us. If you had extended your hand out, you would have lost your hand through the smoke."

Because firefighters were still donning their equipment, the officers went back into the burning building to search the apartment. They found a woman in the bathroom of the apartment and helped firefighters rescue her. On his way out, Richmond heard a cat cry and discovered a kitten nearly overwhelmed with smoke. Richmond took the cat with him on his way out of the building.

Richmond said that the fire was found to have originated from an electrical problem in a motorized scooter.

The officers were the first to receive the North Vernon Police Department's award for bravery since it was created in 2008.
Last Updated: Tuesday, July 15, 2014 9:18:39 AM


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