Officers Honored for Saving Man from Burning Home - WRBL

Officers Honored for Saving Man from Burning Home

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Ofc Jacob Kapeller, Ofc Joel Mondesir, Ofc Andre Cureton receive life saving awards Ofc Jacob Kapeller, Ofc Joel Mondesir, Ofc Andre Cureton receive life saving awards

It was a day to make any chief new or old proud.

Dozens of officers and civilians honored for doing their part to keep the streets safe and the public protected.

Purple hearts, citations and medals of honor and valor were all handed out at a special ceremony Thursday.

Among those honored, three men who saved a life by risking their own.

"It was a lot bigger than any of us expected. I was afraid as soon as I saw it," said Officer Joel Mondesir.

It was a massive fire on Rosemary street.

Officers Andre Cureton and Jacob Kapeller were just sitting down to breakfast on November 2013 morning when the call went out.

"This call was a little different," remembered Jacob Kapeller. "Neighbors were saying there was an elderly man in the house and couldn't get out."

Officer Joel Mondesir heard that same call and followed his friends to the blaze.

"There was a lot of smoke," thought Mondesir. "Flames everywhere."

Inside those flames, one man, Lee Scott. He built the home with his own hands and wasn't about the leave without a fight.

"He was inside trying to put the fire out with a garden hose," said Mondesir.

"We were yelling for him to come out and the roof came down," explained Officer Andre Cureton.

"My partner here Andre," remembered Officer Mondesir. "He looked at me. I looked at him. He said grab him, grab him. Make my way into the kitchen, grabbed him and pulled him out of the home."

"He went to go pick him up and I don't know if he was worried or couldn't get him out all the way," remembered Cureton. "We were able to grab him like this and take him out into the front yard."

"If it was just one of us here, I don't know if we would have had the courage to do that," thinks Kapeller.

The 3 officers and friends have been back to the scene several times, and still wonder how they did it, how they all survived.

"Looking up and seeing the roof gone and the home completely burned the way it was," remembers Mondesir. "The first thing I thought was why on earth did we do this?"

"Fortunately we were able to go in and save a man's life," said Cureton. "We know why we did it. We can't comprehend why we went in there."

"I'm never joining the fire department, that's what I have to say," laughs Kapeller.

The homeowner, Lee Scott was able to get out safely and wasn't badly hurt.

As you saw the home is nothing but a slab, a total loss.

All three officers were honored with live saving medal awards at the Police Awards ceremony.

Another officer honored, Chris Tucker.

The Savannah officer was shot at during a chase, one of those bullets even hitting the taser on his belt.

But instead of stopping then, Tucker kept after the suspect, firing back, striking and stopping the criminal in his tracks.

For that work, Tucker received a Medal of Valor.

"Just because we are recognizing a few here today, we have a lot that work hard," explains Officer Tucker. "That do great things on a daily basis that don't get recognized. But its good to be in this group."

The man who fired that shot, Steven Broadus, was arrested, charged with aggravated assault on a police officer and hijacking a car.

He was convicted and sentenced to life in prison.

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