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MUST SEE: Deputies rescue child from fully-engulfed Seffner home

For Immediate Release : Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office
Release Number: 22-071


Thursday May 19, 2022 10:48 PM


9937 Joe Ebert Road Seffner, FL
MUST SEE: Deputies rescue child from fully-engulfed Seffner home

Body worn camera from two heroic Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office deputies captures the moment when a young boy was pulled to safety from his smoldering home in Seffner. 

Just before 11 p.m. on May 19, 2022, HCSO deputies were first to respond to 9937 Joe Ebert Road where they found a home fully engulfed in flames. Occupants and neighbors were standing in the yard of the residence screaming that a child was still inside. Quick to action, deputies forced entry into the residence by breaking a window.

Deputy Kevin Reich and Deputy Alexander Maldonado, both employed with the Sheriff's Office since March of 2020, called out to the child through thick black smoke, instructing him to come as close to the window as possible by following the light from their flashlights. Within minutes, the deputies spotted and grabbed the 9-year-old boy from the floor beneath the window, pulling him through the shattered opening to safety. They stayed with the child until paramedics with Hillsborough County Fire Rescue (HCFR) responded to the scene to provide him medical treatment.

The child, his mother, and the homeowner were all transported to Tampa General Hospital for additional care. The child remains in the hospital in severe condition due to burns and smoke inhalation.

Both Deputies Reich and Maldonado were uninjured. HCFR was able to safely extinguish the fire. The exact cause of the blaze remains under investigation.
"I am incredibly proud of the quick actions and bravery these deputies displayed, never giving up until they were able to pull the child to safety. It is because of their heroism that this young boy made it out alive," said Sheriff Chad Chronister. "Law enforcement officers are often the first to respond to any emergency scene, so we must always be ready to jump in and help. These deputies never hesitated. They are true examples of what it means to be a hero."
Body camera footage from the rescue can be viewed through HCSOSheriff on YouTube.