Volusia County deputy rescues 1-year-old from burning home

Child was conscious, alert when taken to hospital

Published On: Mar 12 2013 10:18:31 AM EDT   Updated On: Mar 12 2013 05:04:45 PM EDT
DELTONA, Fla. -

A Volusia County sheriff's deputy rescued a 1-year-old girl from a burning home in Deltona.

The fire broke out around 8 a.m. Tuesday at 2930 Bath St. in Deltona.

Deputy Bryon Poteralski arrived at the scene first, and several adults were standing in front of the home saying the 1-year-old was inside. According to witnesses, the homeowner escaped the house with her two kids, but then remembered that her niece was still inside.

Deputies initially tried to get into the home through the kitchen, but the smoke was too thick.

"Once we broke the window, the smoke was pouring out," said Poteralski. "It was really heavy. We couldn't hear the baby, or see the baby."

Poteralski, 33, then went around to a back bedroom, broke a window and climbed inside, where he located the child in a playpen, the Sheriff's Office said.  Poteralski then passed the child out the window to Deltona firefighters.

"Thank God for him, thank God, like I said, they were the first here," said Sherri Jensen, a neighbor of the victims who called 911. "Firetrucks were still on their way, he brought the baby out. She had smoke on her."

The child was breathing and alert but was taken by ambulance to Florida Hospital Fish Memorial in Orange City for evaluation.

"I've got a kid of my own, I hope somebody would do the same for me," Poteralski said.

Poteralski received a minor cut on his finger during the rescue.

Poteralksi has been a deputy with the Volusia County Sheriff's Office since July 2008.

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