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Henderson Firefighter Saves Colleague's Life

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HENDERSON, N.C. — A Henderson firefighter has been hailed as a hero after saving the life of a colleague by pulling him to safety in October. On Wednesday, the town let him know that his courage was not forgotten.

Fire destroyed a 5,000-square-foot home at the Henderson Country Club on Oct. 18, and it almost turned deadly for firefighter Jeremy Turner. Turner and Brad Knutson were inside the house, where smoke was so thick they could barely see each other.

"Right when I started to tell Jeremy to watch his step because the floor was out and where he fell is where we think the fire started," said Knutson. "There was a lot of heat, a lot of smoke and some flame down there."

Turner ended up falling to the basement floor on his right side, then on his airpack. Afterward, he was unable to get up or move. Knudson did a double-check on his partner and found where he had fallen.

"As he was trying to get down to me, debris was falling on me," said Turner. "That was the closest thing I ever felt to being buried alive."

Jeremy Turner escaped the fall with only a few scratches. It's the rigorous training firefighters are put through that paid off in the end.

"They were following training to a T that day," said Henderson Fire Chief Danny Wilkerson.

Chief Wilkerson presented Knudson with the Medal of Valor for saving Turner's life.

"We are all a good group of guys and we train well and we work hard for a goal - to protect citizens of Henderson," said Turner.

Knutson has been a firefighter for nearly two years. Turner is a 5-year veteran with the Henderson-Vance County Fire Department.

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