Three Walker County deputies and three 911 dispatchers will be honored with a proclamation by Commissioner Bebe Heiskell and Sheriff Steve Wilson on Thursday at 3 p.m. The event will be held at the Commissioner’s conference room, 103 South Duke St., in Lafayette.
According to Sheriff Wilson, Deputies Shawn Carter, Zach Simpson and Joshua Mathis rescued a mother and her two small children from a burning home on Oct. 24 at 3:40 a.m. after they were notified by the Walker County Emergency Operations Center of a residential fire in progress at 117 South Forrest Road in Chickamauga.
After they arrived at the scene, Deputies Simpson and Carter immediately noticed that there was an adult female and two children in an upstairs window calling for help. Without concern for their own safety, deputies forced entry into the residence and attempted a rescue operation to retrieve the residents of the home. That effort was unsuccessful due to dense black smoke making it impossible to locate the stairwell to the victims.
As Deputy Mathis arrived on the scene, they executed a second rescue plan by convincing the woman and the two children to exit the window and come out onto the roof. Deputies Mathis and Carter again ignored the risks to their own safety and placed themselves in extreme danger of injury by being in close proximity to the structure fire. While staying on the porch of the burning residence, deputies caught the children as their mother lowered them off the roof one at a time. They then caught the mother as she was forced to jump off the roof to escape the fire.
There were no injuries to any of the parties involved.