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September 17, 2020

STPSO Officer Recognized for Saving Family from Fire

The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office is recognizing Criminal Patrol Division Sgt. Jon Philley, who saved a family from a fire and did so without regard for his own safety. 

Sgt. Philley was working a detail at the I-10 rest area on September 12, 2020 when a Good Samaritan alerted him to a nearby camper and pickup truck on fire. Sgt. Philley immediately sprinted towards the danger and began banging and yelling on the camper door, waking and alerting the occupants of the camper. 

While doing this, propane tanks contained in the bed of the pickup truck began to explode. Within seconds of the camper becoming engulfed in flames, all five occupants, including a 10-month-old baby, escaped the blaze without injury.

The extreme heat, flames, toxic smoke, and several explosions of propane bottles made the situation extremely dangerous, and if it was not for the swift response and bravery of Sgt. Philley, the five family members would have undoubtedly perished. 

Sgt. Philley learned the family was traveling from Georgia back to Lake Charles, where they evacuated from Hurricane Laura. The family lost their home, vehicles, and all belongings in the storm, and had purchased the camper in Georgia with the intention of using it as a temporary residence.

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