Two Florida deputy sheriffs rescued a nine-year-old boy from a house fire minutes before the house was completely engulfed in flames.
Hillsborough County Sheriff Kevin Reich and Deputy Alexander Maldonada were present at a fire owned by Joe Ebert Road in Sefner, Florida, just before 11pm on May 19th.
Embarrassed parents Chris and Karen Ares, who were on the lawn in front of the family dog, told them that their son Owen Ares, 9, was still inside.
The video from the scene shows the couple breaking Ares’ window and using their flashlights to direct the boy through the smoke to themselves, where they grabbed him and pulled him to safety.
They laid him on the lawn to check on his vital functions, and waited with Ares until paramedics arrived to take him immediately to a local hospital.
Two Florida sheriff’s deputies saved a nine-year-old boy from a house fire minutes before the house was engulfed in flames
The couple broke through Ares ’window and were able to use their flashlights to direct the boy through the smoke to themselves, where they grabbed him and pulled him to safety.
Ares, his mother, Karen McGuinness and the landlord were treated at Tampa Hospital.
Ares remains in intensive care, where he is being treated for smoke inhalation. Ares also received burns as a result of the incident.
Neither Reich nor Maldanada was injured in the rescue of Ares. Both men were admitted to the department in March 2020.
Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Cronister said in a statement: “I can no longer be proud of the swift action and courage shown by these deputies, never giving up until they were able to pull the child to safety. It was thanks to their heroism that this young boy came to life.
“Law enforcement officers are often the first to react to any emergency, so we should always be ready to jump in and help. These deputies never hesitated. They are real examples of what it means to be a hero. ”
Nine-year-old Owen Ares is being treated for second-degree smoke inhalation and burns
Mother Ares told a news conference:[Owen] he is my little hero, my North Star, he is my fighter, ”she said. “I taught him to fight, and in fact sometimes he fights too much.”
Ares ’mother told the media at a news conference the day after the fire that her son had received second-degree burns to his face and right arm.
While hospital staff are working to clean his wounds, he is in “strong sedation,” according to the WTSP.
McGinnis told a news conference: “[Owen] he is my little hero, my North Star, he is my fighter, ”she said. “I taught him to fight, and in fact sometimes he fights too much.”
McGuinness told the media about her memories of the moment when two deputy heroes saved her son’s life.
She described praying on her knees when Reich and Maldanada rescued Ares until she shouted, “We got him.”
McGinnis said, “I couldn’t get it. Last night I failed to continue the chair through the window. And I tried so hard, and finally the deputies came and won. “
During a press conference, McGuinness said her boyfriend Roy Vaughn was the first to warn the family about the fire.
Vaughn and McGuinness went outside with their dog. Then McGuinness went to break a window in her son’s bedroom, it was seconds before Reich and Maldonado appeared.
The fire completely destroyed a 110-year-old family home in Florida
Footage from the camera taken by the deputy sheriff shows that the neighbors gathered on the lawn of the house
According to officials, firefighters took 15 minutes to put out the blaze
Hillsborough County Sheriff Kevin Reich and Deputy Alexander Maldonada arrived at the housing on Joe Ebert Road in Seffner, Florida, just before 11pm on May 19th.
Maldanada told the media: “Probably the most important thing is that we both just thought we should get this baby out of the house.” That’s what was going on in our heads. “
When he was called a hero, Maldanada replied, “We were just doing our job, sir.”
Maldanada recounted the moment he got in touch with Ares, saying, “As soon as we broke the windows and we pulled out the window in front of the house, we just started yelling, ‘Hey, buddy, can you hear us?’
He continued, “One day we saw his hand, and Reich’s deputy was able to reach out and pull him up to the window, and we were able to lift him out the window. [I felt] just relief and happiness, just to get him out of the house, to take him as far away from home as possible, as far away from the smoke as possible ”.
Maldonada added: “I hope he will recover soon and be able to return, and hopefully if we can see him in better condition, see his mother in better condition and be able to say goodbye to them. Most importantly – just make sure he can recover. ”
Ares ’father Chris said deputy sheriffs need to be recognized as the heroes they are. Ares Karen’s mother told a news conference that she was trying to gain access to her son’s bedroom when lawmakers arrived.
Ares’ father Chris Ares, meanwhile, said MPs are heroes and deserve recognition.
He wrote on Facebook: “Were it not for the stubbornness of these two officers who fought to save his life, this story could have been quite different.” Thanks HCSO. You are real heroes! ‘
Meanwhile, McGuinness wrote in part on her Facebook page: “We are all alive and we will go through this і .and start first… .Clothes on my back￼ is what I have. The house, the cars, everything … is gone … I love him very much and he is alive … I am traumatized … Please also keep Roy in your prayers as he is also recognized for your heart … Pray for healing, consolation, acceptance, understanding, peace again … one day … ‘
The 110-year-old house is a complete loss. According to the WTSP, the family also lost their cars during the fire.
The fire broke out after someone from the family lit a fire. From there the fire spread to the garage and the wooden flooring outside the house.
Fundraising for the family took place at the Florida Farmers Market in Seffner on May 21st.