Columbus County deputy saves man from structure fire

Columbus County deputy saves man from structure fire
Updated: Oct. 5, 2020 at 9:14 AM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - A Columbus County Sheriff’s Office Deputy is being credited for his efforts that saved a man from a structure fire late last month.

“On September 26, 2020, shortly after 9:00 am, Columbus County Sheriff’s Office Deputy D. Zehnder was traveling on Seven Creeks Highway when he observed a male standing on the porch of a residence, attempting to wave him down. As the deputy turned his vehicle around, he observed a large amount of smoke coming from the front door of the residence,” according to the sheriff’s office.

The man on the porch was a neighbor and he told Zehnder that another man was still inside the residence.

“Deputy Zehnder rushed inside the residence and observed an unresponsive male on the couch. Deputy Zehnder carried the male out of the house to safety. The male was described as very pale and almost blue in color. Deputy Zehnder was able to get the male to respond after administering sternum rubs,” according to a press release. “The victim was left with his neighbor while Deputy Zehnder grabbed his fire extinguisher from his patrol vehicle, and ran back into the residence to extinguish the fire."

The fire appeared to have been started by a pot left on the stove and fire services responded to the incident.

“Deputy Zehnder’s heroic act of courage saved this individual’s life. This is an example of the bravery our men and women exemplify daily. Deputy Zehnder rushed into the residence not knowing the intensity of the fire, only knowing that someone was inside. He did not hesitate to risk his life for another. We are proud to call Deputy Zehnder our hero,” the statement from the sheriff’s office concludes.

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