Deputy rescues woman from Franklin County fire

By Kristina Belcher, Published:

Franklin County Sheriff’s Deputy Montey Chappell usually works as a school resource officer at Western Hills High School.

But when weather canceled school Wednesday, Chappell worked patrol instead — and it may have saved a woman’s life.

Franklin County Sheriff Pat Melton said Chappell was heading home from his patrol shift around 3 p.m. when dispatch got a report of a house fire on Darbywood Drive. Melton said Chappell was close by, so he headed that way, arriving first on the scene.

With flames shooting from the home, Melton said Chappell kicked in the front door and began feeling through blinding smoke for any victims.

He soon found a woman lying unconscious on the floor.

Chappell yelled for two men standing nearby to come help him. The men had been working at a home across the street.

Melton said the men — whom he identified as David Chadwell of Frankfort and Jess Thompson of Lawrenceburg — jumped into action and helped the deputy pull the woman to safety.

“We owe them a huge thank you for their heroic actions,” Melton said.

After the three men pulled the woman from the home, Melton said she was in and out of consciousness from smoke inhalation. Melton and other deputies who arrived on the scene shortly after broke out windows and looked throughout the home to see if there were any other victims, until the fire became too intense.

Fire crews soon arrived on the scene to battle the flames and give the woman medical attention. 

Melton said they were concerned that a man who also lived there was injured inside, but they later found out he was working at Kentucky State University when the fire broke out.

According to property records, the home is owned by Linda and Gary Meiseles. Gary Meiseles is listed as the director of human resources on the KSU website.

A spokesperson with the University of Kentucky Chandler Medical Center confirmed that Linda Meiseles was a patient there. She has since been discharged from the hospital.

Franklin County Fire Chief Kevin Hutcherson said the home sustained severe fire damage, mainly in the kitchen and attic. Smoke damaged other portions of the house.

During their initial investigation, Hutcherson said it looked like the fire originated in or around a stairwell or in the kitchen.

He said while he was unsure how the fire started, crews saw nothing to suggest foul play was involved.

The fire is still under investigation.

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  • Deputy Chappell is a true public servant both on and off the job!  Ms. Meiseles is a lucky woman and she has Deputy Chappell to thank for her life!

  • Good job, everyone!

  • Thank G-d for Deputy Chappell and the other two men for being there at the right time. Without their help, my cousin Linda might not have survived! My cousin Gary and Linda's house can be replaced, but a life can't! My mom found out about the fire from my Uncle Sandy in Florida. I will keep my cousin Gary and Linda in my prayers and get in touch with them as soon as I find out which number I can reach them. Family is important!


  • THANK YOU Montey Chappell.  We are so proud to have such an amazing deputy in Franklin County!  Many kudos for such a fine job well done!!  Good luck and God Bless you and keep you safe always.  Also thanks to the others that helped him.