JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - A Rankin County Sheriff’s Deputy was awarded for his bravery after he went the extra mile for a family who lost their home to fire just before Christmas.
Deputy Hunter Elward was patrolling the Robinhood neighborhood three days before Christmas, when he spotted a house fire.
“As I arrived on the scene nothing but the roof was on fire - the living room roof was on fire," said Elward. “And as I came in, there were flames, and smoke. The house was starting to fill up with smoke.”
Two children were standing outside of the house and after he got them to safety, he learned there were other adults inside.
“I got to her through the living room," explained Deputy Elward. "When I got to her, she was attempting to get Christmas presents out from under the tree. The living room was already on fire so I got her out.”
After getting the family to safety, Deputy Elward went back in -- one last time -- to save their Christmas.
“I figured that’s what she was risking her life for - the Christmas presents - it was the least I could do,” said Elward.
The fire completely destroyed the home, but there were no injuries.
Elward, who was able to save some of their Christmas presents, was honored by county supervisors for his heroics and praised by the littlest fire victims.
“When I came out with one of the Nerf guns, even though the house was fully engulfed, that little boy was excited about his Nerf gun because that’s what he was gonna get for Christmas," said Elward. "So putting a smile back on his face, it made a lot of difference to me,”
“They expect us to go above and beyond at all times that’s why we do this job,” explained Elward.
Deputy Hunter Elward is a three year veteran of the Rankin County Sheriff’s Department, and #MississippiStrong.