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Chesterfield deputy honored for helping family during fire: 'Be of help whenever needed'

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Posted at 5:41 PM, Jun 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-03 17:41:19-04

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- A Chesterfield County Sheriff's Office (CCSO) deputy was honored Friday for her work a few months ago to help a family impacted by a house fire.

Back on March 22, 2022, Deputy Kiara Marshall said she was heading to her parent's house after a 12-hour shift to pick up her youngest child when her sister called and said there was a house fire in the neighborhood.

"Me and my dad went around and kind of assisted with the kids and looked after them, got some information as to where mom wanted them to go, and took them to a friend's house," said Marshall. She added that even though she did not know the family, went back the next day to help a family friend get documents and talk with the father who was posted overseas. "The house is loss. So…it was pretty bad. The back of the house -- you can see through it."

Marshall said she then talked to her colleagues at work and collected donations of toys and clothes to replace some of what the three children lost in the fire.

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Her acts were brought to the attention of a local business, Dog Training Elite Richmond, and non-profit Chesterfield Gives Back -- which recognizes first responders in the community.

"That's phenomenal. That's just a great human being," said Dog Training Elite Richmond owner Paul Hearn of Marshall's efforts.

"It's unbelievable," added Chesterfield Gives Back President Adam Berry. "And it's acts like hers that need to be brought to light for folks, you know. Because, I think the sheriff said it earlier, acts like this are happening every day throughout our public safety sector, not just here in Chesterfield County, but across the globe."

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Hearn said his business just launched a new program through their national office called "Hometown Heroes."

"We are looking, really, for anyone who goes above and beyond to, essentially, make the world a better place; to give back to their communities," said Hearn. "We do see that it is a lot of times first responders who have that giving spirit, anyway, just by way of their career choice. But, we're looking for anyone who is really trying to do something for their community, that go above and beyond what they normally would do in life."

Friday, inside a Chesterfield County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Courthouse conference room, Hearn made Marshall the program's first recipient and surprised her with a week-long stay with options for her to choose from within the United States and several other countries. Chesterfield Gives Back provided Marshall with an airfare voucher.

CCSO Sheriff Karl Leonard said it was an emotional day to see the two-year veteran receive this recognition.

"I think it's really amazing outreach from our community and that's the type of community we have here in Chesterfield -- where people are ready and willing to give back to those who serve, not just a sheriff's office, but the police, fire, EMS. It's just an amazing community to be in," said Leonard, who added he was not surprised that Marshall did what she did. "Just every one of those examples just shows you're going above and beyond what she had to do. Doing it from her heart because that's what she is."

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Similar sentiments were shared by Marshall's parents who were there for the presentation.

"She's that mother type, looking after people. Taking care of certain situations," said her dad, George Coles.

"I'm glad that the world is seeing just how great of a person and how big of a heart she has," added mom, Lisa.

As for Marshall, she said it was just first responders do.

"If somebody needs help, you want to lend a hand. I know I do," said Marshall. "Be of help whenever needed."

Hearn while Marshall was the first recipient, they hope to do more in the future and people can make nominations by sending an email through their website or to him directly.

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