LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Lexington Firefighter Colby Reik received the Firefighter Cross, for his act of heroism, bravery and stamina following a pipeline explosion and fire in Lincoln County last summer.
The Firefighter Cross is the second highest award bestowed by the Lexington Fire Department.
Below is the Lexington Fire Department’s account of Firefighter Reik’s heroic actions the night of the disaster:
It is said that a firefighter is never off-duty. That statement could not have been more true at 1:20 a.m. on August 1, 2019 in Lincoln County for Lexington Firefighter Colby Reik.
A thirty inch high pressure gas line had failed. The first reports were that a plane had crashed but the calls kept coming in. The fireball could be seen from as far away as Bardstown and UK hospital.
Off-Duty Firefighter Reik, alerted to the call, left his home, jumped in his cruiser and drove towards the scene. The initial details of the rapidly evolving scene were sketchy at best.
Emergency crews were doing their best to awaken and evacuate surrounding residences when the report of someone being trapped and unable to escape came in.
Firefighter Reik drove into the neighborhood. As the heat intensified, he began to turn away when he noticed the man had fallen on his own deck. His home had fire coming through windows and the flames were increasing. He drove closer, grabbed the man and pushed him into the back of his car. The roar of the fire was great but he was able to make out the man yelling,”My wife is inside!” Colby turned and went inside. Quickly he was able to locate the second victim, drag her out and push her into his car. Driving quickly away he took them to an awaiting Paramedics who transported them to the hospital. He then returned to check for more survivors.
This fire destroyed six structures, killed one person and multiple people were transported to the hospital with burns, including Firefighter Reik.
Firefighter Reik went willingly into a situation that he could have very likely not come out of, resulting in two lives saved.