Sergeant James Williams
Gold Medal of Valor
On April 13, 2007 Sergeant Williams was on routine patrol when he observed heavy smoke blowing across a parking lot. Sergeant Williams went to investigate the smoke and discovered an apartment building at 870 Southern Avenue S.E., engulfed in flames. Sergeant Williams immediately notified Prince George’s County Public Safety Communications and requested notification to the Washington DC Fire Department.
As Sergeant Williams approached the building he could see flames shooting out of a second floor apartment. Several residents were already coming out of building; however, Sergeant Williams entered the building to ensure that all the residents were able to evacuate safely. When Sergeant Williams exited the building, a hysterically frantic female ran up to him shouting that her children were still inside the apartment.
Without hesitation, Sergeant Williams entered the burning building a second time. As he made his way to the second floor he was immediately faced with a hallway filled with heavy black smoke and flames. Sergeant Williams entered the apartment and within moments located three small children between the ages of one and four years old. Sergeant Williams rescued the children and shielded them from harms way as he fled the burning building. Sergeant Williams’ heroic actions, while exposing himself to grave danger, were directly responsible for saving the lives of three small children.