DELTONA, Fla. (AP) — A Volusia County Sheriff's deputy said he thought of his young son when he broke a window in a burning home and climbed inside to rescue a baby girl from her playpen.
Deputy Byron Poteralski said his son is about the same age as the 1-year-old girl he rescued Tuesday in Deltona.
The Daytona Beach News-Journal (http://bit.ly/Y9JHQU ) said Poteralski sprang into action after hearing Samantha Holley say her niece was still inside the burning home. Holley, who is eight months pregnant, had made it out with her two young daughters.
A sergeant tried to get inside through the front door but was held back by heavy smoke. While the sergeant notified firefighters that the child was still inside the home, Poteralski went to the back of the home and located the room where the little girl was trapped.
He used a baton to break the window and climbed in.
"The baby was laying in a crib unresponsive, Poteralski said. "She had a lot of mucus around her nose and mouth."
The deputy protected the child from smoke and flames and handed her to firefighters waiting outside the window.
Sheriff Ben Johnson said he is proud of his deputy's actions.
"This was a real tragedy in the making," Johnson said. "In the confusion people didn't know there was a baby in the house."
The baby was taken to a hospital and is expected to be fine.
The cause of the fire hasn't been determined and the State Fire Marshal's Office is investigating.
But the child's grandfather Alan Holley is thankful the deputy was there.
"Without him, it could have been a disaster," he said.
Information from: Daytona Beach (Fla.) News-Journal, http://www.news-journalonline.com
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.