A law enforcement officer in Flagler County, Florida, saved a small child from a house fire, say authorities. The office credits Deputy First Class Marcus Dawson with rushing toward the scene.
“Without DFC Dawson immediately running toward danger, even without a safety respirator, this could have been a much different outcome,” said Sheriff Rick Staly in a Facebook post. “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. This was a dangerous situation and we are very proud of DFC Dawson’s bravery and commitment to serving this community and saving a life.”
As seen on Dawson’s body cam footage, he spoke to a local man with a stroller, who pointed him toward the fire. Dawson asked how many people lived at the home. He was told three. Dawson noted active flames on the stove and said it did not seem like anyone was home. The fire alarm was going off, he said.
“Upon checking the exterior of the residence, DFC Dawson observed a fire on the stove that was spreading to the cabinets,” the sheriff’s office wrote. “There was thick black smoke filling the residence and dogs barking at the sliding glass door of the rear bedroom. DFC Dawson made verbal commands into the residence and did not receive any response.”
As seen on video, Dawson banged on the front door.
“Sheriff’s office,” he yelled. There was no apparent response.
Dawson checked around the back and opened a screen door leading to a patio. There was at least one dog barking inside the home. He opened the door leading into the house. At this point, the sheriff’s office blurred out the footage but as heard on audio, Dawson asked, “Hi, buddy? Where’s your mommy?”
The child answered him, and Dawson told him to accompany him. He apparently carried the child out to the street and handed him to another first responder.
As seen on video, Dawson told another that he found the child hiding under a blanket.
“I came back around because I heard the dogs, and I saw a little head pop up,” he said.
The toddler got medical attention and was cleared, the sheriff’s office said. No one who lived at the home was hurt.
“Upon meeting with the toddler’s father, it was determined the father went to pick up dinner and left the sleeping child home with an older sibling,” deputies wrote. The Palm Coast Fire Department took over the scene.
“The fire was believed to be accidental and possibly cooking-related,” deputies wrote.
[Screenshot via Flagler County Sheriff’s Office]
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