Dog, neighbors help rescue Seminole deputy, family from burning home

Deputy, man, 2 children taken to hospital in serious condition

By John Ambrogne - Executive Producer, Mark Lehman - Reporter

LONGWOOD, Fla. - A Seminole County sheriff's deputy and her family were rescued late Monday night from their burning home, officials said.

Investigator Margo Feaser, a man and the children, ages 2 and 4, were taken to a hospital in serious condition because of burns or smoke inhalation, Seminole County sheriff's officials said.

"We heard a loud boom from a house that is just a couple houses down from here.  We saw orange flames coming out," said neighbor Chip Dover.

Dover said he broke a window of the home and rescued Feaser after hearing explosions and seeing flames shooting from the home on Country Hill Drive near Longwood.

"There was some patio furniture there, so I grabbed a chair and smashed out one of the windows and there was a woman inside," said Dover.  "We could hear her (and) my son was calling for her to come to the window."

After Feaser was rescued, sheriff's officials said the family dog led firefighters to the children. The German Shepard, named Maxx, was taken to a veterinarian and treated for minor injuries, officials said.

"We are grateful to the neighbors who jumped into action, and we especially thank the firefighters who selflessly entered the burning structure and risked their lives for the Feaser family," Sheriff Don Eslinger said. "There is a long road of recovery and rebuilding ahead, but our Sheriff's Office family will be with Margo and her family every step of the way. We know our community is behind them too, and we appreciate the tremendous outpouring of support the family has received."

The family members were listed in stable condition, with their status ranging from serious to critical, according to the Sheriff's Office.

Deputies said the family's home was completely destroyed. A fund was designated to provide assistance to the Feaser family to help defray medical, veterinary and other expenses. Deputies said contributions may be made via check to the "Seminole County Sheriff’s Office Employee Benevolent Fund" and sent to 100 Bush Boulevard, Sanford, FL 32773, attention: "Feaser Family Fund."  Community questions about funding assistance may be directed to 407-665-6880. Friends have also set up a GoFundMe page to collect donations. 

The State Fire Marshal's preliminary investigation determined the fire was accidental and that it originated from the back porch of the home, deputies said.

Stay with News 6 and ClickOrlando.com for updates on this developing story.

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