Highland Officers Recognized For Heroism In Fire

Detective Scott Athmer and Sgt. Garry Sellers of the Highland Police Department were recognized recently at the Annual Southern Illinois Police Chief’s Association Awards Banquet for their heroic efforts during a large structure fire in January of 2013.

 “A large apartment building was on fire and was fully involved here in town,” Highland Police Chief Terry Bell told WGEL. “When they arrived the fire department was in the front trying to gain access and the officers went around the back and saw some people on an upper floor trying to get out. They were actually trapped because there was a fire inside their hallway and they couldn’t get out. The officers boosted each other up onto the second story overhang and pulled some teenagers out of a third floor window and got them down.”

Bell said thanks to the officer’s heroism, the teenagers were treated for minor smoke inhalation then released from the hospital.

“We thought that was definitely some extraordinary effort on both of the officers part,” Bell said. “We are all proud of them and it was nice to have some recognition for them.”

Bell said the officers were presented with the Life Saving award in front of their peers and families.