County foreman honored for actions at Sept. 12 fire

By FAITH HUFFMAN | News-Telegram News Editor

Sept 20, 2007 - A Hopkins County worker was recognized today for his actions in getting a teen-age boy out of a burning garage last week.

Staff Photo by Angela Pitts

Hopkins County Precinct 1 foreman Rodney Keller (front, center) was recognized Thursday morning by the Hopkins County Fire Department and Commissioners Court for his heroic actions in getting a teen-age boy out of a burning garage last week. Also pictured, left to right, are: (front) Hopkins County firefighters Mike Matthews, Caleb Melton, Herb Scott, Steve Caudle, David Dunn, Brian Fairchild, Forrest Densmore and Autry Darden; (back) Hopkins County Commissioners Beth Wisenbaker and Burke Bullock, Judge Cletis Millsap, and Commissioners Don Patterson and Danny Evans.

Hopkins County firefighters David Dunn and Fire Investigator Steve Caudle recognized Rodney Keller, Precinct 1 foreman, on behalf of Hopkins County Fire Department and elected officials during the 10 a.m. Hopkins County Commissioners Court session.

Keller was driving home after assisting firefighters at a call on County Road 1106, when he observed a Dodge Neon ablaze in a garage on County Road 1165. Wednesday.

Keller notified emergency responders of the fire and stopped to check that no one was in harm's way. He found 13-year-old Brandon Rogers in the garage trying to extinguish the flames, which Caudle said started accidentally after a mosquito candle and gasoline cans in the garage were knocked over.

Keller got Rogers “to exit due to the magnitude” of the blaze. He then stayed with the boy and offered as much aid as he could to the teen, whose sustained minor burns.

Caudle presented Keller with a framed copy of the News-Telegram story about the Sept. 12 fire, thanking him for his actions, which not only prevented the accidental fire from getting worse, but also saved the boy from more serious injuries.

Commissioner Beth Wisenbaker commended Keller for taking the initiative to check for people inside instead of standing back or driving by.

Hopkins County Judge Cletis Millsap congratulated Keller for “protecting our citizens” and thanked him and other precinct workers — “I think all of you would do the same” — who were present.

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