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Conway officer honored for rescuing 2 people and a dog



Conway, Arkansas – A Conway police officer’s heroic acts in mid-November earned him recognition and praise from his department and community.

On Nov. 16, officer Carson Howard responded to a burning building, and, after determining there were people inside, rushed into the residence and guided a man, a woman and a dog out of the structure.

Conway Police Chief William Tapley said officers should expect to be in situations putting their own lives at risk to help community members.

“When police officers take an oath to serve the community, they know that means they will often find themselves running towards danger instead of away from it,” Tapley said. “Our officers continually go above and beyond the call of duty in serving the people of Conway. I am sure it’s comforting for them to know that police officers will be there doing whatever they can to help in their time of need.”

Howard said he is happy to serve his community. He dedicated much of his adult life to service in the military through the Marine Corps and the National Guard.

“I thought that would be a good way to serve the new state I was living in,” Howard said. “And while I was doing that, I applied to be a police officer in Conway because that was the community [that] I lived in. I wanted to serve my community.”

Howard said he and other officers were close to the area finishing another call when an officer asked if anyone was in the area.

“A different officer, who was further north in the city, asked if there was anyone around there because he could see a lot of black smoke,” Howard said. “As soon as we looked up in the sky behind us to the south, we saw a bunch of black smoke in the sky, so we drove off in that direction.”

On Howard’s body camera footage, smoke appears to billow 20 feet into the air from the second story of the residence on the corner of East German Lane and Teresa Drive.

The fire spread from the west side of the structure and appeared to reach the ceiling of the first story near the front door of the property.

Once Howard arrived at the property, he blocked traffic with his vehicle and ran toward the structure.

“I got out of the car and saw a woman exiting the house with two kids, and she said there was still people inside, so I just booked it inside and ended up seeing two people in the living room,” Howard said. “There was a lady sitting on the couch crying and a guy was just sort of standing there holding onto his dog by the collar.”

Howard said the pair were not trying to exit the building because of the shock of the event and said he had to guide them out through the same side door he entered in.

The thought of a building collapsing because of fire damage was not on his mind when he ran into the residence, according to Howard.

“It never really crossed my mind, you know, the safety of the structure or was it going to collapse,” Howard said. “Downstairs it was a little smoky. You could not really see any fire from downstairs, but you can hear it.”

What did Howard do after the incident? He got back to work.

“After that I was just directing traffic,” Howard said.

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