The Geauga County Bar Association recognizes law enforcement officers for outstanding service and Geauga County Sheriff’s Deputy Jake Smith was the recipient of the award this year for risking his own life to save another.
A call to respond to a house fire in Newbury on March 6, 2019 found Smith first on the scene where he noticed smoke coming from the attic. Smith located a male near the kitchen, which was engulfed in flames, and he told Smith that his daughter was still inside the house.
The 18 year-old had been searching for her cat and was yelling for help as she tried to get out through the front door. She was trapped inside and unable to see because of the smoke-filled rooms. Outside, Smith tried to break through the door but it was heavy and would not budge. He was able to break through a window, shone his flashlight inside, and yelled for her to follow his light. He pulled her out of the window, getting her out safely and saving her life.
According to Newbury Fire Chief Ken Fagan, when they arrived the house had been evacuated and two people were sitting in Smith’s cruiser. Several fire departments responded but the fire destroyed much of the old farmhouse.
Deputy Smith started his law enforcement career in 2007 at the Geauga County Sheriff’s Office on road patrol. He was assigned his current partner, K-9 Spirit, in 2012. The training and dedication he brings to work every day makes Smith a valuable asset to the department and to the citizens he serves.