Officers Honored For Heroism In Dunmore

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DUNMORE — Two Dunmore police officers were honored as heroes at a council meeting Monday night.

Police officers Gene Ruddy and Bill Bonavoglia were given honors, awards and accolades for saving the lives of eight people at a fire last month.

“We appreciate everything everyone is doing but we really don’t feel like heroes. We feel it’s just part of our job,” said Officer Bonavoglia.

Investigators said the police officers noticed flames coming from an apartment building on Chestnut Street in while on duty in Dunmore last month.

They jumped into action, banging on doors, waking and then leading eight people, including children, to safety.

Three others died in the blaze.

“It’s very humbling, this is something very new to me and I do want to accept all these awards and I do want to accept all these awards for all policemen that don’t get recognized,” said Officer Ruddy.

Investigators said there were no working smoke detectors in the apartment building and were it not for these police officers, more people would certainly have died.

In a tearful message made before the crowd in Dunmore Monday night, Officer Ruddy thanked his partner for saving his life.

“Without Officer Bonavoglia being in charge that night to know when to pull the plug and get me out of there, I’m very confident I wouldn’t be here this evening,” he said.

Officer Bonavoglia responded, “I look at him, he actually is the hero, if it wasn’t for him. We actually wouldn’t have found the fire that night.”

After the meeting, the state attorney general and Lackawanna County native Kathleen Kane met with officers and their families.