LAKE WORTH, Fla. - A Palm Beach County Sheriff's deputy is being credited with saving three children from a burning house.
Palm Beach County Fire Rescue spokesperson Albert Borroto said the deputy was on patrol when he saw smoke from a residence just before 2 a.m. on Chickasha Road in Lake Worth.
Borroto said the deputy broke a bedroom window to get the kids, help them out the window, then escaped out the window himself.
"For him to have a heart like that, to go in there and save my family members, that's awesome. My heart goes out to him, God bless his family. He could have died, so we thank him for everything he did for us," said resident Benny Herisse.
"He rushed in there not knowing what was happening and he could have lost his life," said neighbor Harold Peterson.
Borroto said the timing of the fire could have made it more dangerous, had the deputy not stepped in.
"Two o'clock in the morning, you anticipate people are going to be home as opposed to 2 o'clock in the afternoon. They may be working so it's always tragic when you get a call in the early morning hours because you know people could be inside the structure sleeping," Borroto said.
Herisse said the oldest child is 13-years-old. The youngest, he says, is only 4-years-old.
Herisse said all of their clothes and much of their furniture are ruined, and they are not sure if the home will be a complete loss. The Red Cross is assisting the family.
The kids and their mother are hospitalized at Jackson Memorial in Miami. Family members say they're suffering from extensive burns.
Fire investigators returned to the scene Friday afternoon. They said the fire was caused by an unspecified electrical malfunction near the electrical service entrance.
Residents at the home said they have had electrical issues for several years.
The sheriff's office says the deputy who rescued the family was taken to the hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation.
A sheriff’s office spokesperson says the deputy doesn't want any recognition because the deputy says he was just doing his job.