Lexington County Sheriff's Department Deputy Receives Medal of Valor | News
Lexington County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Justin Ashley will receive the South Carolina Sheriffs’ Association Medal of Valor at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, January 24 during an awards banquet that will be conducted at the Embassy Suites located at 200 Stoneridge Drive in Columbia, as part of the Sheriffs’ Association Winter Conference.
The Sheriffs’ Association will present the Medal of Valor to Ashley, 24, of Lexington, in recognition of Ashley’s quick actions on July 1, 2012, when Ashley extinguished a stove fire that threatened to engulf a home on Keisler Road near Gilbert. Ashley works as a road patrol deputy in the West Region Patrol District, which is based near Gilbert. On August 22, 2011, Metts appointed Ashley to serve as a deputy.
On November 15, 2012, Metts presented the Sheriff’s Department Medal of Valor Award to Ashley in recognition of his actions on July 1, 2012.
At about 9:32 p.m. on July 1, 2012, Ashley responded to a call concerning the activation of a burglar alarm at a home on Keisler Road near Gilbert, Metts said. Ashley could hear that a smoke detector also had been activated inside the residence. Ashley looked into a window at the residence and saw heavy smoke flowing into a hallway inside the home. Ashley entered the home through the garage and found flames emanating from an object that was on top of a burner that had been left in the “on” position on the stove in the kitchen, Metts said. Ashley quickly moved through the house in order to make sure that no one was inside the residence. After determining that no one was in the residence, Ashley returned to the kitchen and extinguished the fire in the object that had been left on top of the burner on the stove.
“Lexington County Fire Service firefighters told me that the stove-top fire would have escalated into a fire that involved the whole structure of the residence if Justin had not acted quickly to extinguish the fire and eliminate the threat to the residence,” Metts said.
“Justin risked his own life when he entered a residence in order to extinguish a fire that was actively burning,” Metts said. “Justin was motivated to protect other persons and ensure that the fire did not burn down the whole house. His actions reflect his strong dedication to fulfilling our agency’s mission of providing professional law enforcement services that enhance the quality of life for all people in Lexington County.”