It was noted by Sheriff Randy Strong, “The office of the sheriff has a moral, ethical, and legal obligation to protect inmates who have been placed in our jail by the courts.”
He further described the scenario, at approximately 7:57 pm, January 14, Jailer Madison Morgan observed on the video monitor that there was a fire in the jail annex that was occupied by inmates. Morgan and Jailer Ty Sturgeon reported the fire and notified on-duty deputies.
“Luckily, Detective Sergeant Travis Cochenour, Deputy Jesse Bolin, and I were in the office finishing another case. This put additional help in the jail quickly before firefighters arrived,” noted Strong.
He continued by saying, “Morgan risked her own personal safety by evacuating inmates from smoke filled confinement areas and she led them to fresh air. She remained on the scene, monitoring inmates until alternate jail housing could be found.
“Sturgeon risked his own personal safety by assisting Morgan who was dealing with three inmates in a smoke-filled room. He opened locked doors providing Morgan and the inmates an escape route out of the building. Sturgeon remained in the smoke-filled control center, monitoring videos in the building and unlocking doors for firemen with the control panel. He remained on the scene to deal with inmates that were being prepared for transports to other facilities.”
The crime scene found Cochenour entering the smoke-filled annex room to rescue an inmate from the north annex cell. Cochenour stayed on the scene to help investigate the cause and origin of the fire once it was safe to enter the jail.
Bolin assisted with the evacuation of inmates from the smoke-filled jail and he provided safety over watch of his peers.
“Therefore, Jailer Morgan, Jailer Sturgeon, Detective Cochenour, and Deputy Bolin’s actions qualify them for this Life Saving Award and bestows upon them the Sheriff’s appreciation,” finished Strong.