Trio honored for heroic efforts in Greenville

By Kelli Ameling • Last Updated 10:47 am on Thursday, March 22, 2012

Three Greenville Department of Public Safety officers were honored for their heroic efforts in saving a man and woman from a burning home on Jan. 13. Officers Tom Miller, left, Casey Huber, center, and Eric Hoig, right, received awards and pins from Greenville Department of Public Safety Interim Director Gary Valentine at Tuesday night’s Greenville Council meeting. — Daily News/Kelli Ameling

GREENVILLE — Three officers received a standing ovation from community members and the Greenville City Council after being awarded for their heroism.

Officers Casey Huber and Eric Hoig and firefighter Tom Miller received awards and lifesaving ribbons from Interim Director of the Greenville Department of Public Safety Gary Valentine during Tuesday night’s Greenville City Council meeting.

“I want to extend my congratulations to (Huber Hoig and Miller),” said Councilman Larry Moss.

On Jan. 13, Huber and Hoig observed smoke coming from the roof of 313 E. Cass St., Valentine said.

After making contact with an 83-year-old female, Huber learned a 65-year-old man, Dennis Vanderzand, was trapped on the second floor.

Huber could not get to him because of heavy smoke and visible flames, Valentine said.
As Huber removed the female from the home, who grabbed the ladder as the fire engine arrived and placed it by the room where Vanderzand was trapped.

Hoig entered into the house and yelled to Vanderzand to go to the window where Huber was at. Huber made contact with Vanderzand and pulled him to safety.

Huber and Miller were able to bring Vanderzand down from the second floor.

“This is a rare occasion and a honor,” Valentine said of the officers who risked their lives to save others.

Valentine said he is proud to be in an organization where officers run toward gunshots and firefighters run into burning buildings when everyone else is running away.

“I am really proud of them,” Valentine said of the three men.

City Manager George Bosanic also thanked the officers for the work they did to save their lives.

“Thank you to the gentlemen who went above and beyond in (this situation),” Bosanic said.

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