Lincoln County deputy honored for saving lives during pipeline explosion

LINCOLN COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - A deputy in Lincoln County is credited with saving lives and keeping the death toll from rising when a pipeline exploded.

Photo Credit: Lincoln County Sheriff's Office

Police were dispatched to Indian Camp Road just after 1:30 a.m. on August 1. Colby Reik, a firefighter who was volunteering his time as a special deputy, arrived to feel heat so strong he could feel it through his cruiser's windshield

"He said it was like hundreds of hornets stinging him at one time," said Don Gilliam, Lincoln County emergency management director.

A man was on the porch but after getting him away from the fire, he said his wife was still inside. So with the home's roof collapsing, Reik rushed in to get the man's wife. If that was not enough, it appeared from the dispatch recording he wanted to stick around to do more.

"Lincoln, I'm coming out of here. I can't hold the heat no more. I've got 2 victims in my car, one fatal on the ground. I can't hold the heat," Reik said to 911 dispatch.

The couple survived and on Thursday night the Kentucky Sheriff's Association awarded him the Medal of Honor.

"I am convinced that these folks would not have survived had he not been there and gone into a building that was on fire," said Gilliam.

This is not Reik's first close call. Two and a half years ago he was shot after pulling behind a subject in Garrard County.

"He made the comment that puts it all together. He says he feels like God puts you in situations like this but he's sure wearing him out," said Gilliam.

Reik's injuries were described as terrible sunburn. He has been back at work now for several weeks.

Reik's full-time job is as a firefighter in Lexington. The emergency management director says his training as a firefighter was key in both saving the couple and getting himself out of the burning home just in time.

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