DEMOTTE — DeMotte native and Kankakee Valley High School alumni Kevin Van Kley has received several accolades for his quick thinking that helped save a woman and a child, who were trapped in a home that had collapsed during a fire.
For his heroic actions, Lt. Van Kley of the Porter County Sheriff’s Office received its Medal of Honor, becoming only the third officer in the department’s history to be honored, and he was also named the 2020 Deputy of the Year by leaders of the not-for-profit Indiana Sheriffs’ Youth Ranch.
“Lt. Van Kley’s quick, selfless actions saving a family during a recent home fire and explosion exemplifies a servant’s heart, a leader’s mind, and a hero’s strength,” said former Marion County Sheriff John Layton, ISYR’s board president.
Van Kley made the rescue on September 10 after he heard a call on his police scanner about an active fire with a family believed to be still inside their home.
According to other news reports, Van Kley heard screams coming from the house when he reported to the scene. He quickly entered the burning, collapsing home and removed debris to save a child trapped inside.
Van Kley then went to another area of the house where other responders could be heard shouting, “All hands on deck!” Fire and police were working together to lift the roof, which had collapsed to the ground.
Van Kley then assisted in rescuing a woman from the debris.
“He is exactly what our student leaders need to aspire to as public servants,” said Allen County Sheriff David Gladieux. “We will incorporate Lt. Van Kley’s heroic story into campfire chats with our cadets. I’m certain our young campers will see why the Youth Ranch named Kevin as Deputy of the Year.”