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Deputy recognized after saving Laura evacuees from camper fire

Camper fire St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office.jpg
Posted at 9:07 AM, Sep 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-18 10:07:49-04

A deputy with the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office is being praised for saving a family of Lake Charles evacuees from a camper fire over the weekend.

The sheriff's office recognized Sgt. Jon Philley who, while working a detail on I-10 on Saturday, September 12, was alerted to a nearby camper and truck on fire.

Sgt. Philley reportedly sprinted towards the fire and began to bang and yell on the camper door to alert any occupants inside.

Deputies say that during that time a propane tank in the bed of the pickup truck exploded and quickly engulfed the camper in flames.

All five occupants inside the camper, including a 10-month-old baby, were able to escape the fire without injury.

"The extreme heat, flames, toxic smoke, and several explosions of propane bottles made the situation extremely dangerous, and if it was not for the swift response and bravery of Sgt. Philley, the five family members would have undoubtedly perished," the sheriff's office said.

The family was reportedly on their way back to Lake Charles after staying in Georgia where they had evacuated from Hurricane Laura. They had purchased the camper in Georgia as a temporary residence after losing their home, vehicles and belongings in the storm.

The Sheirff's Office says that Sgt. Philley and another deputy, Lt. Loumiet, put together the cash they had to give to the family to purchase clothes and necessary items.

Lt. Loumiet also paid for a hotel room for the family.

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