Smith is credited with saving a man’s life by pulling him out of a burning house at 610 Ibert St. just after midnight on Aug. 10.
Smith and his uncle, Barry Jackson, were driving down Ibert Street when members of the Fine family told them that Charles Perro, 42, was trapped inside.
Franklin Fire Chief Chuck Bourgeois said the fire apparently originated in the center part of the house and was progressing rapidly. Fire was showing from several windows on the first floor and the entire building was charged with heavy smoke.
Smith and Jackson “immediately responded and determined that Mr. Perro was likely inside a bedroom to the rear of the house,” Bourgeois said. “Without hesitation, regard for their safety and lacking any personal protective equipment, Zechariah Smith and Barry Jackson forced open the rear bedroom door and were able to see Mr. Perro lying unconscious on the floor in the smoke filled room.”
Just minutes after crawling in under the smoke and pulling Perro to safety, the bedroom where he had been trapped erupted into flames, Bourgeois said.
Smith and Jackson rendered first aid to Perro until he was transported to Franklin Foundation Hospital.
“Without the swift, efficient and effective actions of Zechariah Smith and Jackson, there is every reason to believe that Mr. Perro would have perished in the fire,” Bourgeois said.
Bourgeois said two fire detectors had activated and allowed seven other people to escape the home uninjured.