by: Dylan Abad
TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A Florida deputy risked his own life Saturday when he scaled several balconies to rescue a toddler from a burning Orange County apartment building.
Deputies responded to the Isles of East Millenia apartments early Saturday morning and found a three-story apartment building on fire. As authorities evacuated residents from their apartments, they saw a toddler and her mother on a third-floor balcony with flames coming from the apartment.
Deputy William Puzynski wasted no time as he dropped his ballistic vest and body camera and began to scale the exterior of the building to get to a 1-year-old girl on the third floor.
“Hand me the baby, hand me the baby. We are coming,” Puzynski said as he positioned himself on the banister of the second-floor balcony.
The woman extended the crying baby to him.
“Please, come get me,” she pleaded afterward.
Once the 1-year-old girl was safely lowered to another deputy who was waiting on the ground, fire rescuers brought the mother and grandmother down by ladder.
“There were no casualties in the fire and no deputies were injured,” the Orange County Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post. “Just before climbing up the building, Deputy Puzynski took off his outer ballistic vest, which his camera is attached to. It’s an amazing twist of fate that the camera was able to capture what happened next.”
The Orange County Fire Rescue said 24 units were impacted by the blaze.