LIBERTY TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WKBN) – A local firefighter was honored in Columbus Wednesday by the State Fire Marshal and Division of EMS.
Liberty Township firefighter Scott Thomas was awarded the Ohio Fire Service Hall of Fame 2022 Valor Award.
Thomas was recognized for his bravery when helping to save children from a fire in August 2021 at a home on Green Acre Drive. The children were trapped in the burning duplex.
“This was an extreme event. We were horribly understaffed, and we did what some departments will send 50, 60 firefighters for– we did with four of them,” said Capt. Bill Opsitnik.
As Thomas worked to rescue the children, the thin staff battled the flames.
“I headed upstairs, grabbed the little girl and brought her back down,” Thomas said.
Girard Chief James Petruzzi said it was the smokiest fire he’s ever seen.
“In 18 years, this is probably one of the smokiest fires I’ve ever been on. As cliche as it sounded, he just sort of erupted from the smoke and had the child in his hands, sat the child down in the front yard and he started doing compressions,” Petruzzi said.