Local firefighters recognized for bravery at award ceremony

Published 12:16 pm Friday, May 12, 2023

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Both men injured in line of duty at house fire in April


COLUMBUS – Last week, a pair of firefighters with the Columbus Fire Department were formally recognized for their bravery.

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Lt. Will Craine and Firefighter Zach Watts were recognized for their selfless and brave acts at a recent house fire that left both injured. The two firefighters were left with first-degree burns during a fire at a residence on White Oak Mountain Rd. on April 1.

Craine and Watts were searching for an unaccounted resident and working to extinguish the flames at the house fire, as conditions changed rapidly due to high winds. 

The two men were both awarded a National Medal of Honor for their actions in a small ceremony at the fire department. 

Officials at the Columbus Fire Department are thankful for all the emergency crew members that were assisting on the scene that night.

Lt. Craine and Firefight Watts were both awarded a National Medal of Honor for their actions (Photo courtesy of Columbus Fire Department)

“Lt. Craine and Firefighter Watts both go above and beyond when working to protect life and property during emergency situations,” said Captain Dylan Priester. “We are all thankful to have them on the team.”

Columbus Fire Department also extended their gratitude to 1-800-BOARDUP of Asheville for providing food at the ceremony, as well as being on the scene the night of the fire and helping where they could.