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Sheriff's deputy awarded for life-saving actions during fire

91-year-old Rainier woman rescued from her burning home

COLUMBIA COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE PHOTO - Deputy Bill Goodwin receives the Sheriff's Office's Lifesaving Award for his heroic act in rescuing an elderly woman from a burning building on Saturday, May 23. Columbia County Sheriff Jeff Dickerson (right), called his actions 'extraordinary life saving actions.' CSO Deputy Bill Haas (Left rear) and Enforcement Lieutenant Dustin Hald also congratulated Deputy Goodwin on his award.

A retired fire chief serving as a local sheriff's deputy rescued a 91-year-old woman from her burning home Saturday, May 23.

The Sheriff's Office stated Friday that Deputy Bill Goodwin , who is also a retired Columbia River Fire & Rescue fire chief, heard the fire department dispatched to a home on Birchtree Street in Rainier at 12:17 p.m. He was already in the area, so he rushed to the scene, a news release states.

“When he arrived, he saw heavy smoke coming from inside the structure and heard the voice of the resident still inside," Columbia County Sheriff Jeff Dickerson stated in the release. "He crawled his way through heavy smoke and located the woman near the kitchen. She advised the deputy that she needed her walker, but she was able to escape the burning building with the assistance of Deputy Goodwin."

The home was destroyed by the fire after Goodwin and the woman escaped. Both were treated for smoke inhalation at the scene, according to the Sheriff's Office.

“Deputy Goodwin’s actions at the risk of his own safety made a life and death difference in this instance,” Dickerson stated.

Goodwin's actions are characterized as "extraordinary lifesaving measures in the line of duty." He was awarded the Columbia County Sheriff’s Lifesaving Medal.

The retired fire chief began working as a volunteer reserve deputy with the enforcement division of the Sheriff's Office since 2009, the release stated. In 2014, he began filling a part-time deputy position for the Sheriff's Office to fill a staffing vacancy.

Goodwin also provides CPR and First Aid training to the Sheriff's Office and other county employees on a regular basis, according to the release.