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10:04 AM Tue, Dec. 18th

Golden Valley fire hero found dead

Heroism award had just been presented

Robert Davies

Robert Davies

GOLDEN VALLEY - A Golden Valley man was found dead in his bedroom Friday, one day after he was honored for the heroism he exhibited in saving a neighbor trapped in a house fire late in 2012.

Robert Davies, 49, was found by his girlfriend in the afternoon.

A cause of death is being withheld pending an autopsy.

On Thursday at the Golden Valley Fire District board meeting, Davies was presented with the Carnegie Hero Fund medal for "extraordinary civilian heroism."

On Dec. 21, 2012, Davies jumped through a window of a burning home that belonged to 92-year-old Charlotte Sowards.

Davies supported Sowards as the woman tried to breathe.

Golden Valley Fire Chief Tom O'Donohue arrived and also entered the burning home and the two of them struggled repeatedly to lift Sowards out of the window as fire raged behind her bedroom door.

The men ultimately lifted her to another neighbor, Paul Bissonette, just and jumped out just as the fire flashed over the room.

Sowards was hospitalized for smoke inhalation but survived.

O'Donohue has been recognized for his own acts of bravery, but the chief has always said Davies was "clearly the hero that day."

Davies told a reporter he didn't second-guess his actions that day.

"I felt I had to do the right thing, and the right thing was to save this woman's life."

A celebration of Davies' life is set for 3 p.m. Saturday at the Golden Valley Fire District Training Center, 423 S. Colorado Road.

"We invite all who knew Robert to join us in celebrating his life with memories to honor this gentle, humble and loving hero," said Linnea Davies.

His mother, Linnea Davies, two sisters, Christy Franks and Sheryl Williams; brother Dennis Davies; Earlene Mahar, his life partner; and many aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews survive him.