City Recognizes Man for Heroic Actions in Rescuing Child from Mobile Home Fire

The Smithville Police and Fire Departments paid tribute Monday night to a man who risked his own life to save a 23 month old child during a mobile home fire last month at 1276 South Mountain Street.
Jerry Estes was presented a plaque for his act of bravery during the monthly meeting of the Smithville Mayor and Board of Aldermen. Smithville Police Chief Mark Collins and Fire Chief Charlie Parker made the presentation.
“Mr. Estes on behalf of the Smithville Police and Smithville Fire Departments we want to present you this plaque. Bravery is the quality of spirit that enables one to face danger or pain without showing fear. The Smithville Police and Fire Departments wish to acknowledge Mr. Jerry Estes for his selfless act of bravery on December 4, 2016,” said Chief Collins in presenting Estes the plaque.
The fire on Sunday, December 4 claimed the lives of 27 year old Jeremy Shelton, 36 year old Crystal Fults, and 4 year old Caylix Johnson. Two others, 26 year old Heather Standridge and 23 month old Brantley Johnson were injured.
Estes, a passerby, spotted the fire and saw Standridge standing outside the trailer yelling that her children, the Johnson siblings, were still inside. 911 was alerted at 12:12 p.m. and members of the Smithville Volunteer Fire Department and Police Department were summoned along with backup from the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department.
According to Chief Collins, Estes climbed through a window, grabbed the 23 month old child, and pulled him to safety. After firefighters arrived, Lieutenant John Poss of the Smithville Volunteer Fire Department rescued the 4 year old child. Shelton and Fults perished in the fire.
Standridge and the Johnson children were taken by DeKalb EMS to Saint Thomas DeKalb Hospital. Standridge and the 23 month old, Brantley Johnson were later transported to Vanderbilt Hospital. The 4 year old child, Caylix Johnson died at the hospital in Smithville.
“I just did what anybody else would have done in trying to get those kids out,” said Estes in receiving the plaque.

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