Utah officer receives Carnegie hero medal for saving a man from a burning house

First Published      Last Updated Mar 31 2015 01:04 pm

Through the smoke and flames, Kyle Christensen found the man he was looking for at the bottom of the basement stairs.

Ammunition was heating up and going off, but the Roy officer pulled the man out of the basement and — with the help of a second officer — out of the burning house.

And his heroism has not gone unnoticed. The Carnegie Hero Fund Commission announced Tuesday that it will award Christensen the Carnegie Medal, which is given to people who risk their lives to save others. Nineteen others will also receive the distinction.

The commission, named after philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, investigates stories of heroism, and awards medals and cash several times a year.

On Jan. 10, 2014, Christensen was the first officer to arrive at the house fire near 4000 S. 2000 West.

The commission wrote that Christensen "saw Phillips lying on the floor at the base of the stairs, flames nearby."

"Despite intense heat in the stairway that singed his hair, Christensen slid down the stairs in a seated position and grasped Phillips underneath the arms," before pulling him up the stairs and then outside to safety, the commission wrote.

"Flames spread quickly, soon filling and destroying the structure," the commission wrote. "Phillips required hospital treatment for burns, and Christensen was treated at the hospital for smoke inhalation."

The commission has given nearly $37 million to 9,757 awardees or their families since 1904.

Other winners, announced alongside Christensen, include a Texas man who saved a woman from attacking dogs; an Oregon man who saved a boy from drowning; and a New York woman who saved three children from a crashed, burning minivan.

— The Associated Press contributed to this story.


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