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Lyons ceremony honors hero cop

Published: Wednesday, April 24, 2013 2:20 p.m. CDT
(By Matthew Hendrickson – mhendrickson@shawmedia.com)
Lyons Police Chief Harley Schinker (left) shakes hands with Officer Charlie Wright (middle) who received honors from the village for his quick response to a fire that is credited with saving lives.

LYONS – At a recent Village Board meeting in Lyons, there was at least one topic that the politically divided board and residents could agree on – officer Charlie Wright is a hero.

On April 1, Wright was on patrol just after midnight when he spotted flames and heavy smoke coming from a building in the 4500 block of Prescott Avenue. Wright radioed other officers and the village’s fire department before rushing inside the building to evacuate residents.

On April 17, the village of Lyons honored Wright at their regular board meeting with a framed certificate and an honorary fireman’s helmet.

Numerous residents and board members congratulated Wright throughout the evening, but the officer maintained he was just doing his job.

Wright said after the presentation that he was surprised by the award, but he was honored to receive it.

“It feels good,” he said simply.

On the night of the fire, Wright said he began pounding on doors and windows in an attempt to wake up residents. He then entered the smoking building and led a man and his child out to safety. Other officers, also honored at the meeting, were outside and caught a young girl as her mother dropped her from a second story window.

In all, nearly a dozen residents escaped the building. Everyone survived.

Wright later was taken to an area hospital and treated for smoke inhalation.

“It’s just part of the job,” Wright said. “You see smoke and you go.”

Wright was joined at the ceremony by his family. His son took a turn trying on his father’s new helmet, as well.

Wright said he plans to retire from the department in December, but probably will continue in his career in law enforcement in some way.

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