Pinehurst Fire Chief Grady Gray recognized the bravery and actions above and beyond the call of duty of Officer Kevin Blakney for his assistance at the Optimist Village Apartment fire March 19. Blakney risked his life helping elderly residents out of the building before fire and rescue arrived.

That letter is as follows:

Police Chief Fred Hanauer
Pinehurst Police Department
March 24, 2009

Chief Hanauer,

I would like to commend Patrolman Kavin Blakney for his actions on the night of March 19, 2009 at the Optimist Village Apartment fire. Office Blakney, without hesitation, risked his life and entered a burning structure in order to assist the senior citizens in evacuating the structure, keeping them out of harm’s way. Officer Blakney went above and beyond the call of duty and assisted one paralyzed resident from his bed into his wheelchair, saving him from the toxic smoke that was rapidly filling the building. Officer Blakney continued these actions until the smoke was too excessive for him to continue without risking himself becoming a victim. After enough fire personnel arrived on scene and began the extensive room to room search of the building, looking for any additional residents unable to evacuate on their own, Officer Blakney continued to prove a valuable asset to me by aiding the distraught citizens to meet in a common area and attempt to find out who was not accounted for.

Officer Blakney is a great asset to the City of Pinehurst and an outstanding police officer. His actions on that night went well beyond the required duties of a patrolman. The efforts by Officer Blakney fit the true definition of a hero by showing great courage during this tragic incident.

On behalf of the Pinehurst Fire Department, I would like to express my gratitude to Officer Blakney for his life saving actions.

Grady Gray
Fire Chief
Pinehurst Fire Department