HICKORY, N.C. — A police officer in Hickory is being recognized for his heroic efforts to save two children from a burning home.
Hickory Police Officer Dylan Cornett told Channel 9′s Dave Faherty he’s not a hero and did what any other officer would have done.
Cornett spotted the fire shortly after 2 a.m. last May while out on patrol. By the time he got turned around, much of the mobile home was on fire.
“I have kids of my own my first thing was like ‘let’s make sure there are no kids here’,” Cornett said.
At that time, Cornett had no idea that two children were sleeping inside while flames destroyed the southwest Hickory home.
Cornett said when he was in the mobile home, the smoke was so thick he couldn’t see his hand if he held it up.
“I couldn’t even see my hands in front of my face. I tried to yell but with all the smoke I couldn’t get enough oxygen to yell,” he said.
Cornett went to the front door, which was unlocked, and found a little girl sleeping on a couch. He said when he got the little girl out, she told him her cousin was still in the rear of the home, so he went back inside and began calling out for the child. Cornett says that was when he felt the little boy tug on his police uniform and he was able to get him out.
Channel 9 went by the address Tuesday and while the mobile home was gone, you could see where the intense flames burned the trees high above the home.
Cornett says he didn’t hesitate to go inside, especially since he knew of some children that died in a fire the previous year in that same area.
“Like I said once the door opened up, I kind of went in through the smoke, announcing myself as Hickory Police Department, and I could kind of see her legs on the couch.”
Neighbors said they are grateful Cornett was so quick to act.
“Them kids probably wouldn’t be alive right now and god bless him for everything he has done for the family.”
Cornett is glad he could help, but when Faherty asked if he was a hero he said, ““Absolutely not. I feel like any other officer would have done the same thing. I didn’t see waiting on the fire department as an option at that point.”
Faherty found out from firefighters that the fire started from an electrical problem inside the home. The damages were estimated at $35,000.
City leaders will give Cornett the Meritorious Service Award at their meeting tonight.
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