NWGA Scanner | August 8th, 2022

Rossville police officers awarded letter of commendation for heroic actions during deadly July 4th house fire

According to a letter of commendation from the Rossville Public Safety Director, “On July the 4th, 2022, shortly after 06:00 hours, the Rossville Fire Department was dispatched to a structure fire located at 107 Shearer Drive. This residence happened to be located near the residence of Rossville Police Department Sgt. Shawn Carter, who was off-duty at the time.” Sgt. Carter, without hesitation, left his residence and ran towards the danger. Sgt. Carter immediately radioed Walker County 911 Dispatch, advising of the initial explosions and possible entrapment inside the heavily involved residence. Sgt. Carter, who was in shorts and a t-shirt, proceeded to attempt to make entry inside the house and render first aid despite the intense flames.

Patrolman Chase Galyon and Patrolman Marcus Alford, who both were just starting their shift, quickly rushed to the scene arriving moments after the first call.

According to the letter, “This turned out to be a devastating fire. There was a tragic loss of life and collateral damage that resulted. In the following days of the fire investigation, many factors were reviewed, including body cam footage from the Rossville Police Dept. personnel who were on the scene. This footage clearly depicted the extremely heroic effort these three Officers put forward in assisting Fire Dept. personnel in extricating people from the residence and assisting in fighting this very tragic fire.” Multiple witnesses described the officer’s heroic efforts in saving the trapped victims inside.

“It is very likely there may have been many more fatalities without the effort shown of these brave Officers. In my opinion, these Officers went way above and beyond in their duties that day. Therefore, it is with great pride that I issue this letter of commendation, which will become a part of their permanent files To: Sgt. Shawn Carter Officer Marcus Alford Officer Chase Galyon This 25th day of July 2022”, Rossville Public Safety Director said in the letter.

The Rossville Police Department officers were assisted by the Walker County Fire Rescue Station 7 C shift, who arrived shortly after Rossville FD had arrived on the scene. Fire units arrived on the scene and advised the house was heavily involved in flames. Station 7 personnel made vent-enter-search VES rescue of one occupant and then went into another room for a second extrication of another occupant. Walker County 911 dispatchers also played a vital role in the rescue, helping guide officers and firefighters to the victims who were trapped inside.