Kennett Officers risk their own lives to rescue resident from burning house

Thursday, August 2, 2018
Kennett Police Officers rescue a woman from this home located at 1209 Crawford St., as it was fully engulfed Monday night.
Photo by Trina Bell, staff

Kennett Police Officers risked their own lives to save an elderly resident from her burning home Monday night.

Captain Rick Groves said he is very proud of his officers who displayed heroism by going above and beyond the call of duty, which saved a woman’s life.

At approximately 10 p.m. Monday, July 30, Kennett police, fire and rescue were dispatched to 1209 Crawford St. where the caller reported the house was on fire.

Upon arrival, Officer Brian James and Dunklin County Deputy Andrew Conley advised the residence was fully engulfed. After making contact with one resident Charlie Adaway, James and Conley learned there was an elderly female trapped inside.

James pried open a window in an attempt to gain entry but the smoke and flames became too much to bare.

At that time Kennett Officer and KFD fireman Robert Moore arrived on scene, along with Officer Josh Scheffler.

“James reported he saw Moore and Scheffler run to the rear of the home and they advised they were making entry,” said Capt. Groves. “Robert, being a well trained fireman, knew what to do and the others followed his lead.”

According to their police reports, Moore was able to get in, along with Scheffler and Captain Joe Stewart.

“The guys reported when they were able to make their way through the flames and the smoke they noticed the elderly resident sitting on the edge of her bed,” Groves said. “They said it looked as though she had just given up on attempting to escape, or the smoke had already consumed her to a point she was not able to do anything.”

But they were not going to let this be the end of her story. “They went on in, without any regard for their own safety and they got her out of that burning house,” Groves added.

Groves said the officers risked their lives by going through the flames and smoke to retrieve Miss Linda Matheney and the three of them packed her outside, getting her a safe distance from the home.

“When the guys made it out with Ms. Matheney, they learned they too had sustained some injuries,” said Groves. “Joe twisted his knee as they were packing her out and Robert received some burns as well. From what I’ve gathered, Ms. Matheney received some third degree burns but is alive.”

Groves and the entire Kennett Police Department wantto commend the actions of their fellow officers. “People always say it’s our job, but these guys went above and beyond, sustaining injuries themselves in order to save this lady’s life,” Groves said. “We couldn’t be more proud of them and we are blessed to have them serving with the Kennett Police Department and the Kennett Fire Department.”

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