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'Right place at the right time': Kentville police officer recognized for finding, dousing garage fire

Kentville Mayor Sandra Snow presents Kentville Police Service (KPS) Const. Kevin Lutz with a plaque of recognition after he found and put out a garage fire. KPS chief Julia Cecchetto confirmed that had Lutz not put it out in time, “without question, it would have ended up a full structure fire.”
Kentville Mayor Sandra Snow presents Kentville Police Service (KPS) Const. Kevin Lutz with a plaque of recognition after he found and put out a garage fire. KPS chief Julia Cecchetto confirmed that had Lutz not put it out in time, “without question, it would have ended up a full structure fire.” - Contributed

KENTVILLE -- A police officer has been recognized for preventing what could have become a structure fire at a home in downtown Kentville.

Const. Kevin Lutz received a certificate of recognition from the Town of Kentville after he discovered a garage on fire at a home on Main Street near Elm Avenue in August.

Lutz noticed a strange smell around 1 a.m. while working an overnight shift and drove around until he found its source – a garage on fire near a house. He parked his car and immediately called for backup, and noticed the family was still inside as he worked to extinguish the fire.

“You do what you have to do, and I didn’t probably do anything different than others would have – but it’s still nice to be recognized for this,” said Lutz.

Const. Kevin Lutz said finding fire "was one instance where I was in the right place, and didn’t miss it."
Const. Kevin Lutz said finding fire "was one instance where I was in the right place, and didn’t miss it."

The fire was ignited against the garage after the residents had stripped hardwood floors and placed the rags used in a plastic garbage bag. It was this bag that then combusted and caused the fire, according to the town.

Kentville Mayor Sandra Snow said the recognition is part of a town policy that recognizes “outstanding contribution to the community and exemplary actions” and said this incident qualified largely due to Lutz finding the fire before the residents realized it had ignited.

Kentville Police Service chief Julia Cecchetto also said the constable’s work prevented what would have become a more serious incident.

“This was an act of exceptional work and due diligence – without question, it would have ended up a full structure fire,” she said.

Lutz said that among the things he finds most difficult as a police officer is when he finds out an incident occurs just after a shift ends, minutes after he’s hung up his uniform and headed home.

He said he’s glad this fire was not one of those instances.

“There are few times in a police officer’s career where you are in the right place at the right time with something like this. You take it personally when you miss things… and this was one instance where I was in the right place, and didn’t miss it,” he said.

Lutz said he later ran into the woman who was inside the home during the incident at an event in Kentville, where she thanked him again for putting out the fire.

A few days later, Lutz found out the woman had made him cookies as a thank you, and brought them to the police station.

“I just thought it was sweet that she wanted to thank me in that way – even the cookies would have been enough of a thanks,” said Lutz.

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