Submitted by Allen J.M. Smith, Bossier Sheriff’s Office
A Bossier deputy received national recognition from the Veterans of Foreign Wars Thursday as a result of his quick action in January 2014 that saved a man from an apartment complex fire in Benton, La.
Bossier Deputy Darryl Ware received the VFW National Law Enforcement Award Thursday at VFW Post 5951, Bossier City, presented by former State Commander Ken Koval.
Bossier Sheriff Julian C. Whittington said, “We’re proud to see Deputy Ware, a five-year veteran of the Bossier Sheriff’s
Office, receive this recognition for rescuing a man from the second story of The Reserve Apartments during a fire at the complex in late January. Deputy Ware exemplifies the kind of courage and quick thinking that can save lives in an emergency like this.”
Sheriff Whittington said Deputy Ware was working patrol in the Benton area early Jan. 25 when he was dispatched to a structure fire at the apartment complex.
He was the first deputy on the scene, along with a volunteer firefighter. Upon arriving, Ware found one of the apartment buildings, comprising eight joined units, engulfed in flames on an entire side.
The fire had spread to the upper apartments, blocking the stairwell which accessed those units. Residents who had already evacuated told Ware that one of the upper apartments still had an occupant inside.
Ware was unable to get up the stairs, so he climbed from a first floor patio fence to the upstairs balcony and pounded on the wall of the apartment and the sliding glass door to waken the resident. Inside was Troy Cummings. Cummings awoke disoriented. Ware said Cummings appeared shocked by being awakened by someone on his balcony. Ware told Cummings that there was a fire in the building blocking the front door and stairway, and that he needed to get out. The apartment was filling with smoke.
Cummings attempted to go to the front door, but when he opened the door, the flames and smoke were too intense. Ware helped Cummings, who was afraid and still disoriented, out of his apartment, by climbing over the balcony and down the outside wall. Ware climbed down first and guided Cummings down by placing his feet and lowering him down to safety.
Ware said, “I appreciate the award – it’s humbling and I really didn’t expect it. I did what any Bossier deputy would have done. I’m accepting this on behalf of the Bossier Sheriff’s Office night shift and the deputies and firefighters who were on the scene that night, too.”