Sergeant, 2 deputies honored in Perry Co., IL for life-saving ef - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Sergeant, 2 deputies honored in Perry Co., IL for life-saving efforts

Three members of Perry County, Illinois law enforcement are being called heroes today for life saving efforts in one of Pinckneyville’s largest fires. (Source: Sherae Honeycutt/KFVS) Three members of Perry County, Illinois law enforcement are being called heroes today for life saving efforts in one of Pinckneyville’s largest fires. (Source: Sherae Honeycutt/KFVS)
The building was a total loss, and fire officials still don’t know what caused it. (Source: Sherae Honeycutt/KFVS) The building was a total loss, and fire officials still don’t know what caused it. (Source: Sherae Honeycutt/KFVS)
PINCKNEYVILLE, IL (KFVS) -

Three members of Perry County, Illinois law enforcement are being called heroes today for life saving efforts in one of Pinckneyville’s largest fires.

The Pinckneyville community is very proud of these three men after they ran into a four story burning building on June 16, 2015 – risking their lives.

The blaze that night moved quickly.

“By the time they got everybody evacuated though, the building ended up being engulfed," said Perry Co., Illinois Sheriff Steve Baries.

Sheriff Baries says if it wasn’t for three of his deputies – people could have died.

“I hadn’t been asleep maybe ten minutes, but I heard this bang, bang, bang, and it was the deputy and he was just – ‘get out, get out, your building’s on fire!" said resident Wendell Spann on the day of the fire.

The building was a total loss, and fire officials still don’t know what caused it.

What city officials do know – is three of their deputies are heroes.

The Illinois State Bar Association is highlighting their efforts.

The Assistant State’s Attorney for Perry County, David Searby, nominated the trio.

Sargent William Reagan, and deputies Reid Bastien and Jeremy Gothard.

“They’re risking their lives. I mean, you go into a burning building you run the risk of collapse. You run the risk of getting burned, smoke inhalation, anything like that," Searby said.

Family and friends joined together for their big moment.

Sargent Reagan says – he’s proud to share this honor with his brothers.

“It feels good to be able to get these two guys in there with me because they’re there for me a lot," Reagan said.

Because – that night, everyone involved says – it could have been a lot worse.

“God was watching over them and they all got out. Nobody was hurt, we lost everything, but you know, they got their lives," said witness to the fire Cathy Keller.

Searby says – recognizing these men is the least they can do.

“So often we think we have a lack of heroes, when we’ve got heroes right here in Perry County," Searby said.

“Those are some strong words, but I’d like to think that any other law enforcement in the county, state or nation wouldn’t hesitate to do the same thing," said honored hero Jeremy Gothard.

The three men were also honored with a surprise award from The Sheriff called The Lifesaver Award.

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Copyright 2016 KFVS. All rights reserved.

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