Politics

A Maysville woman who died while trying to save her children from a house fire and a man who rescued a truck driver from a burning vehicle were honored in a ceremony Monday in Frankfort.

Lori Kearney and Lou Scharold were awarded the national Carnegie Hero Medal during the ceremony hosted by Gov. Matt Bevin. The award recognizes people “who risk their lives to an extraordinary degree saving or attempting to save the lives of others.” According to Bevin’s office, more than 150 Kentuckians have earned the honor since it was established by industrialist Andrew Carnegie in 1904.

Kearney died while trying to save her children from fire at their Maysville home in 2015, and was announced as a Carnegie Medal honoree in December 2016.

Bevin says the Marine veteran helped four people escape, then went upstairs through smoke to try to rescue her three children.  All four died of smoke inhalation.

“Once she realized her family was in danger, she ran into harm’s way,” Bevin said during the ceremony. “It’s that training that a Marine has imbued deep within them.”

In the other Carnegie award, Lou Scharold saved a truck driver whose vehicle was struck nearly head-on. Scharold reached through the broken windshield, grabbed the driver and led him away from the burning vehicle.

“About a person who was making their way down a roadway, and saw somebody in need on the side of the road,” Bevin said. “And that, in essence, is what this story is about.”

Scharold attended the awards ceremony in Frankfort. For a list of other recent honorees, click here.

Rick Howlett is WFPL's Broadcast Managing Editor and also produces feature and general assignment radio stories.