OVIEDO, Fla. – A Seminole County teacher was presented with an award Friday for saving two children from a burning car in May.
Suzanne Matos, an elementary school teacher, received the Life-Saving Award from the Oviedo Fire Department on Friday to recognize and celebrate her act of heroism.
“I’m overwhelmed with everyone who is here today. I was in the right place at the right time,” Matos said. “It was the right thing to do.”
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Local school teacher, Suzanne Matos, was presented a Life-Saving award by the Oviedo fire department for saving two children from a burning car.— Emily McLeod (@emilycmcleodtv) July 7, 2023
Hear more of her heroic story at 4 & 6 p.m. on @news6wkmg! pic.twitter.com/9nQ27PHuyQ
The rescue occurred on May 26, when Matos noticed a smoking car in the parking lot of the Oviedo Mall.
Upon further investigation, she discovered there were two toddlers inside trying to escape. Matos was able to quickly grab the children — ages 2 and 4 — from the car and get them a safe distance away before firefighters could arrive.
“I’m just so pleased that the kids are fine,” Matos said. “I’ve been thinking about them. It’s an image that sort of sticks with you for a while. I’m just very, very happy. And again, I’m just blessed that these kids are OK.”
The children suffered some injuries but are expected to be OK, according to police reports.
“Her observation of the children escaping and quick thinking and efforts saved the lives of the two children,” the Oviedo Fire Department.
The Oviedo Fire Department says the Life-Saving Award is the agency’s highest citizen award.
She also received an official fire department challenge coin.
“I’m just blessed that these kids are OK and no one got hurt,” Matos said.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
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