By Ted Scouten

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Two Fort Lauderdale police officers who risked their lives to save a man trapped inside his burning home were honored by Broward County on Tuesday.

On January 2nd, officers Taylor Hall and Bryan David raced to a house fire at 3001 SW 3rd Street and once there desperately tried to get inside to save the life of 80-year-old John McCutcheon.

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After finding the doors locked, Hall tried to break the front door down to no avail. David then used a shovel to break a window next to the door and both officers entered the burning home.

The officers were not wearing protective or respiratory equipment as they attempted to open McCutcheon’s locked bedroom door. Eventually, overcome by smoke, they left the home as firefighters arrived.

“These two officers exhibited extreme courage in the face of adversity. They made an attempt to rescue another human being under untenable circumstances,” said Fort Lauderdale Fire Chief Rhoda Mae Kerr.

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Firefighters were able to reach McCutcheon, but he did not survive.

On Tuesday, both officers were awarded the county’s Medal of Valor.

“The Broward Medal of Valor honors those who risk their own lives to save the lives of others. They confront the unpredictable, not knowing what the outcome might be. As the medal says, ‘Brave service before self’,” said Broward Mayor Steve Geller.

The officers said they were simply doing their jobs and trying to save a life.

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“We sign up and do this. I just want to be here, I just want to make a difference, so the thought of ourselves in danger has to take a back seat to that,” said Hall.

Ted Scouten