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On January 20, 2015 at the City of Lakeland Commission Meeting, Herve Casmir was presented with the Lakeland Fire Department's Citizen Heroism Award for his actions in helping save 6 residents from an early morning kitchen fire. Below is the award narrative describing his heroic efforts which led to him receiving the award. 

Narrative for Citizen Hero Award

On December 5, 2014 at 2:26 AM the Lakeland Fire Department (LFD) was called to 831 Lake Avenue N, Lakeland, FL for reports of a building fire.


Upon arrival LFD firefighters encountered a structure heavily entrenched in smoke due to a kitchen fire. The fire had been extinguished prior to the fire crew’s arrival by Security Guard Herve Casmir. Due to his heroic actions, outlined in this narrative, LFD would like to award Herve with a Citizen Hero Award.


Herve is a security guard at Gilmore Apartments, which is adjacent but separate to the home where the fire occurred. While making regular rounds as part of his work duties he noticed smoke coming from the home at 831 Lake Ave. He made his way to the home to investigate further, which is when he noticed even heavier smoke and began banging on the door and windows. His knocking awoke two children sleeping in the living room whom opened the door, allowing him to enter. He evacuated the two children and asked if there were any others inside, when they then informed him that there were four others sleeping inside. He made his way through the home and woke and evacuated everyone.


After the inhabitants were evacuated, Herve reentered the home as the smoke got heavier and he followed the source of the smoke into the kitchen. He noticed the fire source was a pot on the stove which he picked up and took outside to extinguish. Although the Lakeland fire Department would never recommend someone put themselves in risk to extinguish a fire, Hevre did. He then proceeded to call 9-1-1 for assistance.


Herve suffered from smoke inhalation as a result of his actions and was treated at the scene by LFD personnel as well as transported for additional care.


As a result of Herve’s heroic and selfless actions he consequently recued 6 inhabitants in the home, of which several were children. This is an incredible example of heroism, where an individual places themselves in harm’s way to save the lives of others.


Cooking fires are the leading cause of fire in Lakeland and in the nation and the leading cause of injury from a fire. Additionally the fire broke out at night, while inhabitants were sleeping which significantly increases the risk of a fire fatality. Lastly, the home where the incident occurred did not have working smoke alarms at the time which increases the chances of a fire fatality by 75%. The odds were stacked against the inhabitants in this home, and the department feels strongly that had Herve not provided such heroic efforts (noticing, evacuating, extinguishing, and calling 9-1-1) the outcome of the fire could have been devastating in damage to both life and property.


This is why the Lakeland Fire Department is proud to present Herve Casmir with its Citizen Hero Award. The entire department acknowledges and thanks Casmir for his life saving actions and commends him for helping his fellow citizens in need. 


Photos from the presentation are available here

Fire Chief Gary Ballard and Training Chief John Almskog presented an update on the department's newly improved ISO rating, as well as the progress of Station 7 earlier today at a regularly schedule City of Lakeland Commission meeting. 

The presentation, which kicked off the commission meeting held March 17, 2014 was designed to present a concise yet informative update on these two exciting developments happening at LFD. Several commissioners asked questions in regards to how the ISO rating is calculated, cost savings associated with the improved score, and provided favorable feedback about LFD.

Training Chief Almskog paraphrased the success these accomplishments bring the department during the presentation by saying "Lakeland Fire is not a good fire department, but rather a great fire department, that provides excellent service." The presentation made that abundantly clear.

To view the presentation and/or download a copy click here