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South Dakota city honors officers, boy for fire response

July 15, 2018

STURGIS, S.D. (AP) — A western South Dakota city has formally honored two police officers and a 10-year-old boy for their bravery during a house fire in May.

The city of Sturgis awarded Sgt. Chris Schmoker, Patrol Officer Dylan Goetsch, and Ethan Baker with Life Saving Awards this month, the Black Hills Pioneer reported . Schmoker and Goetsch also received the Municipal Medal of Honor.

The fire began May 12 at the home of Baker’s grandparents.

Baker woke up during the fire and yelled for help, said Police Chief Geody VanDewater. His cries alerted his grandparents and his mother, who were able to make it safely outside the house.

“He saved their lives,” Sturgis Volunteer Fire Chief Shawn Barrows. “Had he not had his wits about him, we would have had fatalities in there.”

Schmoker and Goetsch were the first to arrive at the fire and were able to pull family member Jason McKee, who was unconscious, from the house.

McKee said Baker and the officers are heroes.

“On behalf of the entire McKee family and all my friends, I can’t thank you enough for what you did,” McKee said. “You went above and beyond the call of duty without any equipment or anything. You saved my life and I can’t thank you enough for that.”


Information from: Black Hills Pioneer, http://www.bhpioneer.com

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