On Thursday, April 21st Officer Michael McGarry received a Lifesaver Award at the 29th Annual Southern Illinois Law Enforcement Commision/Southern Illinois Police Chief's Association Awards Banquet. This banquet was attended by law enforcement agencies from around the Metro-East. Officer McGarry was just one of several Officers, along with community members, who were recognized for their commitment in making a difference. Officer McGarry received the award for actions he took in the discovery of a house fire in 2020. This award ceremony would have occurred last year however, it was postponed due to COVID. The following is a summary of the actions he took that night.
Fact Situation: On Monday, November 9th, 2020, Officer Michael McGarry, of the Millstadt Police Department, was conducting routine patrol in the Coachlite Subdivision. He detected an odor of smoke and canvassed the area extensively. He noticed smoke coming from a residence on Coachlite Drive. Upon inspecting he noticed smoke coming from the attic area, as well as a pile of wood on fire at the rear of the residence. He notified dispatch of the situation and had the fire department respond. He alerted the occupants of the residence who were sleeping, as well as retrieving his fire extinguisher. The occupants of the residence were able to safely evacuate. Officer McGarry began fire suppression efforts with his extinguisher and a garden hose. Upon arrival of a Millstadt Fireman, he continued to assist in the situation, as the fire had gotten into a garage wall. It would have been easy for Officer McGarry to dismiss the smoke in the area as simply some smoldering leaves. It is without a doubt that, had it not been for the alertness and investigation efforts of Officer McGarry, extensive damage to the house would have occurred. In addition, the lives of the two young women who occupied the home could have been in peril. One of the occupants of the home described Officer McGarry’s actions as, “Phenomenal.”
Pictured with Officer McGarry is Chief Alan Hucke.