Utah deputy gets award for saving 2 people ‘running for their lives’ from wildfire

“[They] were trying to outrun the fire but it was gaining on them,” officials said


By Suzie Ziegler 

SARATOGA SPRINGS, Utah — A Utah sheriff’s deputy was honored by his department Wednesday after saving two people from a raging wildfire last month when their car got stuck. 

The incident happened June 28 as Deputy John Thomas was working the south end of the massive Knolls Fire, the Utah County Sheriff’s Office wrote in a Facebook post Wednesday. Thomas noticed a separate flare-up had started and saw two people “running for their lives,” the sheriff’s office said. 

A man and a woman were driving off road when their pick-up truck became stuck and ignited the flare-up, according to the sheriff’s office. While trying to retrieve her cellphone from the burning truck, the woman sustained serious burns to over 20% of her body.  

“[They] were trying to outrun the fire but it was gaining on them faster than they could run. Without the actions of Deputy Thomas the man and woman would not have survived the fire,” the sheriff’s office said in a release

To commend his heroic actions, Thomas received an award from the department Wednesday, according to FOX13

“It does mean a lot, I know they’re all looking at me as doing something great; I look at it as I wish this award was put out to more people,” Deputy Thomas told FOX13. “I don’t feel like my actions were any different than anybody else’s actions but I do really appreciate it and it does mean a lot to me.” 

Dashcam video of the encounter shows the deputy driving through a dramatic landscape, lit up by lines of grassfire on the horizon. The woman he saved was hospitalized but the man escaped uninjured, said FOX13. 

Footage of the incident begins at about 1:21. 

 

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