Off-Duty Deputy Rescues Woman During House Fire

Reported by: Paris Lewbel

Contributor: Christine Winter
Contributor: Lance Vaught
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Updated: 2/06 3:31 pm
A Franklin County Deputy, on his way home for the day, decided to answer one more call and put his life on the line when he ran inside a burning home to rescue a woman inside. 

Deputy Montey Chappell normally works as a school resource officer, but was out on patrol because of a snow day, Franklin County Sheriff Pat Melton said.

Chappell was heading home after his shift when he heard a call on the radio in his squad car for a house fire.

Chappell was just a few miles away from the address on East Darbywood Drive. Instead of going home, he picked up his radio and told dispatchers that he would respond.

According to Melton, Chappell arrived to find the entire backside of the house engulfed in flames. He quickly looked for any homeowners, and didn't see anyone outside. Chappell then kicked open the front door and rushed inside the burning home.

Chappell found an unconscious woman inside at the bottom of the stairs, the Sheriff’s office said.

The deputy yelled for two bystanders to help him move the woman outside of the burning home. David Chadwell and Jess Thompson rushed to the deputy’s assistance and got the woman outside.

"Had he waited, she wouldn't be with us right now," Milton said. “It was a life or death situation, and it was a decision he made, and that's what we do, we're there to help, and to save people's lives. And his action, and the actions of the two other that helped him, I hope, will make a difference in this woman's life."

The woman was taken to UK Medical Center with life-threatening injuries, the Franklin County Sheriff's Office said. According to an update from officials, she made an incredibly fast recovery and was released from the hospital on Thursday.

Franklin County Sheriff’s Deputy Stephen Campbell was the second to arrive at the fire, and out of fear for another victim being inside, also rushed into the burning home. According to Melton, Campbell started looking around inside, but had to back out because of the heat.

“With total disregard for his own safety, he did that. What more can a community ask for out of its deputies and sheriff’s office,” Milton said. “My men and women put their lives on the line everyday and do a great job for this community and this is just another example of what they do and how they do it.”

Since the incident happened, the woman has been able to talk with Chappell and thank him for saving her life.

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