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Sheriff: Florida deputy rescued 3-year-old boy hiding from house fire under blankets

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Posted at 6:43 AM, Oct 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-19 15:04:02-04

PALM COAST, Fla. — A Florida sheriff’s deputy rescued a 3-year-old boy from a house fire Sunday after he found the child hiding under blankets to avoid the smoke.

When K-9 Deputy First Class Marcus Dawson arrived at the Palm Coast home, the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office says the officer spotted a fire on the home’s stove that was spreading to the cabinets.

“There was thick black smoke filling the residence and dogs barking at the sliding glass door of the rear bedroom,” wrote the sheriff’s office in a press release.

Dawson yelled to see if anyone was in the house, but didn’t receive a response, so he walked around to the back and entered the patio through an unlocked screen door, according to the sheriff’s office.

That’s when the deputy saw something move in the bed of the primary bedroom and he got close, officials say he observed a toddler under the blankets, hiding from the smoke.

“He immediately entered the residence to rescue the child and carried him out of the home. The toddler immediately received medical attention and was cleared on-scene,” officials said.

When the sheriff’s office met with the child’s father, officials determined the dad had gone to pick up dinner and left the sleeping child home with an older sibling.

“Without DFC Dawson immediately running toward danger, even without a safety respirator, this could have been a much different outcome,” Sheriff Rick Staly said in a statement. “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.”

None of the three residents of the home were harmed by the fire.

The blaze is believed to have been accidental and possibly cooking-related, the sheriff’s office says.