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Deputy honored for trying to rescue fire victims

Posted at 9:42 PM, Feb 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-15 21:42:18-05

HENRY COUNTY, Ind. -- With fire raging and smoke billowing, Henry County Deputy Derek Hall went into a window at Michael Dale's home three times to try to save him. Sadly, he was unsuccessful. 

Dale and his 4-year-old granddaughter, Jenna, were killed in the house fire. 

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"I'm trying to get him out not having any luck right now.  He's within reach, I can't get him from the heat," Hall said over his police radio as he desperately tried to save Dale.

Jenna had already been removed from the house. Emergency crews tried in vain to save her. 

Hall was four or five feet from the window. 

"He was on the floor, I couldn't get down to him the third time because of the heat and the fire.  The fire came roaring down from the ceiling. Something like you'd see in a horror movie," Hall said. 

The wall collapsed. Hall said it was so hot that his body armor started to melt. There are holes on the fabric inside his vest. Sheriff Rick McCorkle called Hall's bravery, and perseverance extraordinary. So much so, that he will be the first recipient of the Henry County Medal of Valor. 

"I believe it is still important that people understand that we are dedicated to this cause. We believe in this cause and we will fight for every individual out there. Officer Hall is the perfect example of how hard officers fight every day," McCorkle said. 

"I just did it. I knew it had to be done. It's in my blood. It's in my being. That's who I am," Hall said. 

Hall will receive the award next week. 

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