Deputies honored for rescuing man from structure fire

Published 7:22 pm Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Two officers with the Carter County Sheriff’s Office have been honored by the state for their actions to rescue a disabled man trapped inside his burning home earlier this year.

On Sept. 11, state officials presented CCSO Investigator Andy Bean and Deputy Robert Hughes with First Responder Awards from the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security. The award presentation was held at the Governor’s Residence in Nashville.

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The awards were presented to Bean and Hughes in response to actions the pair took when responding to a residential structure fire on Feb. 9, 2017. Bean and Hughes entered the home and carried a disabled man to safety.

“Investigator Bean and Officer Hughes are to be commended for their selfless actions which served to preserve the life of a citizen,” Carter County Sheriff Dexter Lunceford said.

Around 8:30 p.m. on Feb. 9, Bean, Hughes and other deputies responded to a report of a structure fire at 1408 Stateline Road.

When the officers arrived, they saw a woman, identified as Jeannie Kellison, standing in the driveway, and she told officers she was the caretaker of a disabled man who was still inside the home.

“Deputy Hughes and I made entry into the residence to locate the male but were unable to at first because of the amount of smoke,” Bean said. “After pulling out all the oxygen tanks from inside the doorway of the residence, we made a second approach and were able to locate the male.”

“Deputy Hughes and I lifted the male and took him to safety with assistance from Sgt. (David) Caldwell and Deputy Christian Carrier,” Bean added.

The man, who was identified as Michael Shotkosky, was transported to a local hospital for treatment.

An investigation revealed the fire started with Shotkosky’s oxygen tanks. According to firefighters, Shotkosky had been smoking when the oxygen caught fire and spread through the tubes to the tanks.

At the time of the rescue, Lunceford commended his officers for their actions in rescuing the man from his home.

“They did an outstanding job,” Lunceford said. “The people of Carter County are lucky to have officers like them.”