Girard officer will be honored at March 25 meeting

Staff report


Heroic actions saved multiple lives when two house fires broke out in neighboring communities within three days.

Police officer Mat Jamison will be honored at the next council meeting March 25 for evacuating residents from a burning duplex at 151 South Davis St. in Girard last Saturday.

Meanwhile, a Hubbard man and his daughter woke up a family just in time Tuesday morning for all to evacuate safely from a burning home at 627 Moore St.

“If it weren’t for them, it could have been a completely different outcome,” said Eagle Joint Fire District Chief Ron Stanish. “I can’t say enough about the heroic thing this man and his daughter did.”

Both actions highlight how quick thinking at a fire scene can save lives.

“If [Jamison] didn’t take that quick action, we might have had a real tragedy on our hands,” Girard Fire Chief Kenneth Bornemiss said. “I’m so thankful that he came upon that on patrol and took the action he did.”

Jamison was patrolling near the duplex about 7:30 p.m. when he realized it was on fire. He ran inside, alerted the residents and helped them evacuate.

At least six people, including three children, were in the burning structure.

“Because of his diligence, and with no thought of his own safety, Officer Jameson was able to safely remove the occupants and limit this disaster to only property loss,” reads a news release from Police Chief John Norman.

In Hubbard, Abigail Deshetler, the 15-year-old daughter of Jason Deshetler, said she and her father live near the home that caught fire. They were on their way to the store shortly after midnight Tuesday morning, and noticed a small fire on the porch.

“My dad stopped the car. The house went up in flames quickly,” Abigail Deshetler said. “I called 911 and my dad started banging on the house to wake them up. They got their animals and ran out, and by that time, the whole house was on fire.”

The family ran out with their two dogs and one cat.

It only took about a minute for it to envelop the house, Abigail said. It’s a total loss.

Abigail said she was scared her father would be shocked by a downed power line.

The American Red Cross, which is assisting the families put out by the Girard fire, was contacted to assist the Hubbard family. Assisting were fire crews from Hubbard, Liberty and Brookfield.

The Ohio State Fire Marshal’s Office was called to investigate.

Stanish said the father-daughter duo did everything right. The most important thing is to never put yourself in danger if you stop to help someone.

“First thing is to protect yourself, you don’t want to put yourself in harm’s way,” he said.

Regarding the South Davis Street duplex fire, Girard Fire Investigator Jim Petruzzi expects to release the official cause today.

The house will likely be deemed a total loss in the report, Bornemiss said. The Girard firefighters were assisted by Liberty Fire Department.

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