A North Carolina police officer was recently honored for rescuing two girls from a house fire after their mobile home caught on flames.
Hickory Police Officer Dylan Cornett was awarded the Heroism Award by NC Commissioner of Insurance Mike Causey for his selfless actions last year.
“Everybody says they’ll do it. But, you don’t know even in yourself if you’ll do it,” Officer Cornett said of the experience.
When faced with the situation in real life, Cornett answered the call.
Initially, Cornett thought he saw a grass fire while on patrol near 2nd Ave S.W. in Hickory, but soon realized it was a mobile home engulfed in flames.
Without hesitation, Cornett left his vehicle and ran to the home.
“If you held your hand out that far, you couldn’t see it. There was so much smoke. I tried to yell but with all the smoke I couldn’t get enough oxygen to yell,” Cornett recalled.
After entering the home through an unlocked front door, Dylan located a 12-year-old girl sleeping on the couch and helped her escape.
“I was like, ‘Is there anybody else in the house?’” Dylan said.
The girl told him her little cousin was still inside.
“As soon as you go in the door there, you couldn’t see. The heat was intense,” Cornett recalled as he ran back to retrieve the other victim.
“When he was telling me this story, it brought me to tears. (He said) the first thing I thought when I heard that little girl’s voice was my own daughter,” said Dylan’s wife, Blynda Cornett.
Fortunately, Officer Cornett was able to extract the 9-year-old boy, who was still trapped inside.
Dylan Cornett believes it was his duty as both a father and police officer to rescue the children.
“I felt like it was my job,” he said.
“He said, ‘I knew the risk of my own life, I had to save her.’ It was very touching. It was a hard phone call to get,’” Blynda added.
Neighbors also commented on the heroic rescue.
“The kids probably wouldn’t be alive right now, and God bless him for everything he has done for the family.”
When asked if he thought he was a hero, Cornett remained modest.
“Absolutely not. I feel like any other officer would have done the same thing. I didn’t see waiting on the fire department as an option at that point.”
After an investigation into the cause of the fire, police believe it was due to an electrical issue.
The family has since moved away after the home burned down.