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Decatur native honored in Pelham

By Bayne Hughes 340-2432

PELHAM — The city of Pelham honored a Decatur native recently with a "Medal of Honor" for rescuing a woman from a burning mobile home on Jan. 31.

Pelham firefighter Kenneth Smith is the first to receive the city award. The Fire Department also recognized four co-workers for various accomplishments.

Smith, a 1982 Austin High graduate, was off duty and running errands when he noticed a plume of smoke from Plaza Pines Mobile Home Park on Alabama 68. He and two other men, Louis Frederico and Ken Marlow, went to the mobile home to see if anyone was inside.

Smith found Charlene Shimel lying just inside the trailer and pulled her to safety. The blaze destroyed the home.

"It's more than should have been done," Smith said of the award given March 5. "I didn't do anything that any of the other 76 firefighters in the department wouldn't have done."

The city also recognized Frederico and Marlow.

Smith, his wife, Carol, and their four children live in the Montevallo area. He has been with the Pelham Fire Department for 17 years.

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