Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office
Resident Larry Adams was trapped inside his bedroom with smoke and flames threatening his life when three Rutherford County Sheriff’s deputies rescued him.
Dispatchers alerted Deputy Steve Hill, Cpl. Ethen Shenefield and Deputy Jamie Murphy that Adams was trapped in the back bedroom, Hill said. He and Shenefield tried to pull Adams out the window but a couch blocked their way. Hill jumped through a window and moved the couch.
“I grabbed his arm and kind of slid him back out the window,” Hill said. “Ethan and I each grabbed his arms. Murphy grabbed the victim by one side of his belt. I grabbed the other side of the belt. We all pulled him out together and moved him away from the house.”
Rutherford County Emergency Medical Services paramedics arrived and treated Adams. He was admitted to Vanderbilt University Medical Center where he was listed in stable condition Tuesday.
Sheriff Mike Fitzhugh commended the deputies who saved Adams.
“These deputies showed courage in entering the smoke-filled house and safely removing Mr. Adams from harm,” Fitzhugh said. “I am proud of their dedication to save his life.”
Sgt. Jamie Holloway recommended Hill for the Medal of Valor and Shenefield and Murphy for the Life Savers Award.
Hill, who was the first deputy to arrive, saw flames pouring from the back of the house. Thick heavy smokes and flames met him from the kitchen area. He crawled toward the living room, then heard a dispatcher give Adams’ location in the back bedroom. Knowing he couldn’t reach the bedroom through the smoke and flames, he crawled back out and met Shenefield and Murphy.
Shenefield said Adams was slumped against a wall.
“I helped push and hold Hill up on the windowsill so he could move the couch out of the way,” Shenefield said. “We started pulling under his arms up and out of the window. Then, we were able to get him on the ground and move him away from the house. We just kept talking to him to make sure he was OK until the paramedics and firefighters got there.”
Murphy said the deputies moved him out the window to the yard.
“We could tell he was struggling to breathe,” Murphy said. “We asked him if anyone else was in the house. He said no. His dog was in the house.”
Kittrell Volunteer Fire Department firefighters rescued Adams’ dog and PAWS took over care of the pet.
Hill said any Rutherford County Sheriff’s deputy would have responded the way the three deputies did.
“Somebody was going in that house,” Hill said. “I just happened to be the first one.”
Shenefield said with the smoke, the deputies knew they had to respond.
“There wasn’t a choice for us to sit and wait for the firefighters,” Shenefield said. “Because he (Adams) couldn’t help himself, the furniture and the height of the window, it took us all. It’s part of our job and it’s good to see the positive side of helping out.”
Murphy, who joined the Sheriff’s Office this year to train as an SRO, said he was an honor to work with Hill and Shenefield.
“The three of us have not worked together before because we are on different shifts,” Murphy said. “We did what was needed to be done.”