Editor's Note: This story originally ran on July 12. We are featuring it again for our weekend readers.
Even after being recognized as "heroes" in their community, Waukee police officers Bill Daggett and Derrick Spoerry still contend that what they did was all a part of the job.
On May 22, police officers Daggett and Spoerry were first on the scene of a house fire at the corner of Eighth Street and Cherry Avenue.
Upon arrival, the officers found glass blown out of the windows, siding in the yard and a once sturdy-looking dwelling blown off its foundation. A crowd had already gathered. A neighbor said there was someone in the home.
"There was smoke coming out of the basement and the roof and there were people standing around, a lot of them had just come out to find out what happened," Daggett said. "We heard there was someone in the house so we went to the door and dispatch already had her on the phone."
The home's occupant, Tracy Petty-Conley, was not able to get out on her own, so Spoerry took matters into his own hands and with the fire department still minutes away, went in after her.
"Derrick kicked open the door and we were met with smoke," Daggett recounted. "He called out 'Waukee Police' and she answered very faint so we didn’t know where she was at. There was a four-foot gap down to the basement we had to get over. Derrick made it to her on the couch but then we couldn't figure out how we were going to carry her out. He just picked her up and made sure the three of us got out of the house before it burst into flames."
A Lifesaving Honor
Thursday afternoon, just outside the Waukee Public Safety Building, Daggett and Spoerry received recognition from the city of Waukee for their efforts.
Mayor Bill Peard presented the officers with the city's Life Saving Award for "outstanding police performance in the saving of a human life." In his speech, Peard said the two used "personal courage to make that happen."
Spoerry said the honor was "overwhelmingly nice," while his partner, Daggett, said the two still believed what they did was business as usual.
"It's a little, well, embarrassing," said Daggett. "I don't think we did anything that anyone else here in uniform wouldn't have done themselves."
One person absent from the ceremony was Petty-Conley. Spoerry said the officers haven't seen her since the May rescue. In her place today was Maddie, her Scottish terrier, who was also rescued from the fire.