A Florida deputy ran into a burning home on Sunday and rescued a 3-year-old boy who was hiding from the fire and smoke underneath a blanket, authorities said.
K-9 Deputy First Class Marcus Dawson responded to the home in the west section of Palm Coast after a neighbor reported that a fire appeared to have broken out in the kitchen, the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office said on Facebook. The neighbor told Dawson that he hadn’t seen the three people who lived there that day.
Dawson checked the home from the outside and saw that a fire on the stove was spreading to the kitchen cabinets, the sheriff’s office said. Dawson yelled commands into the home but didn’t get a response. He saw dogs barking at the rear screen door as black smoke filled the home.
Dawson entered the smoke-filled home and saw a small head pop up from underneath a blanket. The toddler was hiding under the blanket to get away from the smoke, Fox News reports.
"Without DFC Dawson immediately running toward danger, even without a safety respirator, this could have been a much different outcome," Sheriff Rick Staly said. "This child was hiding in fear of the fire and smoke watching a cartoon on his phone when, thankfully, DFC Dawson’s training in emergency response allowed him to find this child and safely rescue him."
The sheriff’s office met with the boy’s father and determined that he had gone to pick up dinner and left the sleeping child home with an older sibling.
All three residents of the home were safe and uninjured.