4 Waco firefighters honored for their courage and heroism

Thursday, February 28, 2013 - 2:03pm

Four Waco firefighters were recognized for their heroism on Thursdayat the Waco Fire Emergency Services Education Center, for their heroism.

Liberty Mutual Insurance hosted a ceremony honoring Lance Beatty, David Sauer, Michael Ball, and Lex Hayes, of the Waco Fire Department, for their courageous rescue attempts to save the victims of a structure fire in a trailer home located at 6312 North 19th Street in Waco about a year ago. Three fatalities are reported to have occurred as a result of the fire. 

On February 16, a structure fire erupted at a trailer home, located at 6312 North 19th Street, with occupants trapped inside. Crews arrived on the scene shortly after being notified, and once on scene, the smoke was dense with heavy flames. Under extreme danger from toxic smoke, heat, and flames, firefighters Hayes, Beatty, Sauer, and Ball acted courageously, without concern for their own personal safety and risked injury in attempts to save the victims in this tragic fire.

For their brave rescue efforts, Beatty, Sauer, Ball and Hayes were presented with the Liberty Mutual Firemark Award for Heroism, as presented by Liberty Mutual Justin Blalock from the company's Round Rock, TX office.

"Four heroic acts by four heroic men. About this time last year, these four men went into a trailer fire. And, these men, you know, at risk of their own safety, went into the fire, and you know we’re going to acknowledge their behavior on that day,” said Blalock. 

The Liberty Mutual Firemark Award is presented annually to hundreds of firefighters throughout the country who best represent their communities through courageous acts and who best demonstrate the firefighter's selfless spirit. Waco Fire Chief John Johnston recommended the firemen for the award, saying that their "bravery, diligence and dedication to duty is greatly appreciated by the Waco Fire Department."

These four Liberty Mutual Firemark Award winners will also be considered for the 2013 Liberty Mutual National Firemark Award. Two national winners--one honored for heroism, the other for community service/public education, will each receive a $10,000 grant from Liberty Mutual for their fire departments.

The Liberty Mutual Firemark Award takes its name from the firemark, which is a leaden plate, in the form of a Phoenix rising from the ashes, which American fire offices in the 18th and 19th centuries used to mark all the houses they insured.

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