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3 Maui police officers recognized for saving woman from fire

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WAILUKU >> The Maui Police Department has awarded three officers Silver Medals of Valor for their part in pulling a woman from her burning home in May.

Rusty Iokia, Herman Marfil, and Lucas Hetzler helped save a woman who was still inside a burning Kahului home May 4, The Maui News reports. They were honored at a ceremony Friday.

"Plenty guys do awesome stuff and are not recognized for it," said Iokia, a 10-year MPD veteran. "The fact that we could let grandma see another day with her family – I’m good with that. The awards and stuff, it’s great recognition. I do appreciate it. There’s a lot more heroes out there than me."

Iokia and Marfil entered the burning building after a neighbor said a woman was still inside. They heard her scream and instructed her to work toward the backyard. The heat from the blaze singed Iokia’s hair and Marfil’s eyebrows as they searched for the woman.

At that time Hetzler joined the other two after climbing over a neighbor’s fence. They managed to carry the woman to safety.

They also freed a family dog that was attached to a pole in a kennel.

Fire Chief Jeff Murray praised the officers’ bravery.

"The efforts of these three officers in particular stood out, as they went above and beyond the normal performance of duty," Juan said.

Neighbor Mulimuli Agalevaa was awarded a civilian certificate of merit for helping spray down part of the building with a water hose.

The fire destroyed the seven-bedroom house that had been home to 11 family members, including the grandmother who was rescued by the officers.

"Honestly, any officer would do that," Marfil said. "I just do it because we do it. I don’t really need a medal."

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