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Two Eastland PD officers recognized for heroic acts in Eastland house fire

"Our job is to save lives and to protect the residents of Eastland County."

EASTLAND, Texas (KRBC) - An Eastland fire broke out last Wednesday, January 10, on a family's front porch. Four people were inside at the time and the amazing part is that they all survived, thanks to two Eastland Police Officers, who were the first ones on scene.

Their selflessness was recognized in Tuesday night's Eastland Commissions meeting.

"I'm very proud of them. Very, just very proud of them. Proud to be part of the team," Administrative Assistant for Eastland Police Department, Roma Holley said.

Eastland police officer Kolton Preston and school resource officer Kevin Willis received letters of commendation. The letter stated that the purpose was to commend them for their valor, initiative and performance duty, under extreme hazardous conditions, which enabled them to save the lives of those four people on 203 S. Connelle St.

"I couldn't believe it. I was on pins and needles, listening to the radio, trying to figure out how in the world they got there before the fire department," Holley said.

The two walked away with minor cuts and burns.

"The call came out at about 9 o'clock in the morning. Myself and Officer Preston, we met there at the same time. He was coming down Commerce Street the same time I was. It came out as a structure fire," Officer Willis said.

Officer Willis explained he has served more than 30 years in law enforcement. He is a retired police officer from Hurst Police Department in the metroplex. He described Wednesday as a day he will never forget.

"The wheelchair ramp was outside. Officer Preston recognized the residents, who's it was, and knew that was a disabled man inside, if he was there. There were several other residents there as well. The house was definitely fully involved, by the time we got all the residents out and by the time the fire department got there," Officer Willis said.

Officer Preston also received the 2017 Eastland Officer of the Year award, and what better time to be chosen for the award, even before the last week's events happened.

"Very gung-go, but very knowledgable at the same time. He's a good guy to have on your side," Holley said. "Officer Willis is a great asset to our community. He is a great asset to the school. He's a big member of our team, that we really are appreciative of him being here."

Officer Willis explained, he was just doing his job.

"Officer Preston and myself had no second thoughts about that and we went in there and did what we had to do," he said. "Our job is to save lives and to protect the residents of Eastland County."

Officer Preston remained humble and told KRBC he was just doing what he signed up for; to protect and serve.


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