HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Maui police officer William Cleghorn II has only been on the job for four years and has already received the Maui Police Department’s highest honor: A Gold Medal of Valor for his heroic actions in a house fire last summer.
The medal stemmed from fire call at Sunset Terrace in Honokowai on July 20.
"I awoke to my entire apartment being filled with smoke,” said resident Danny Bordin. “I knew I was in trouble.”
Bordin had fallen asleep while cooking and his stove had caught fire.
Cleghorn was the first on scene to find one of the apartments fully engulfed in flames and Bordin trapped inside.
“I knew that if I didn’t get out of that room in the next minute, I was done,” Bordin said.
Cleghorn said first responders were frantically trying to get inside.
“Once we made entry, thick black smoke was billowing out of the door.”
The 25-year-old police officer is not trained in fire rescue operations, but said he did what anyone would do if they knew someone was in danger.
“We could hear him coughing and screaming,” Cleghorn said. “So, I had to go in on my stomach. Crawled in to the living room. Found him on the couch ended up grabbing his foot and dragging him out.”
Bordin said his life was spared that night and he is forever grateful.
He hopes to pay the favor forward to someone else one day.
“He didn’t have to do what he did. He went out of his way, put himself in harm’s way to save my life," he said.
"It has since changed my life and I’m well aware of what could have happened, and I’m very thankful and very grateful for Officer Cleghorn for what he did, and he definitely is a hero in my book.”
If you’d like to nominate a Hometown Hero, email us at HometownHeroes@HawaiiNewsNow.com.