VIDEO: Florida lawmakers smash windows to save 9-year-old from raging fires

TAMPA, Florida (WFLA) – A heart-stopping video shows the frantic moment lawmakers rescue a 9-year-old boy from a house fire in Florida.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office was the first agency to respond to the fire, which broke out at a home in Sevner, outside Tampa, around 10:45 p.m.

About 75% of the home caught fire along with the detached garage, according to Hillsborough County Fire Rescue.

Karen McGuinness, mother of 9-year-old Owen Aris, said she hears her son calling for help as she tries to break a bedroom window with a chair.

“I just couldn’t get it,” McGuinness said, recalling the frustrating and shocking event. “I couldn’t pass the chair through the window last night. I tried hard and the deputies finally came and got it.”

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office has released nearly six minutes of body camera footage that shows Representative Kevin Reich and Deputy Alexander Maldonado rushing into a boy’s bedroom window as his mother screams for help. McGuinness said someone pulled her away from the burning house, at which point all she could do was pray.

“All I can do is say… Please God don’t take our son now. She said.

In the video, a deputy can be seen using a battering ram to smash glass while McGinnis helps him clear his way out the window.

The deputies ordered Owen to follow the light from their flashlights and get as close to the window as possible, but the child could not get out.

The deputies made several other attempts to reach the child by smashing more windows and trying to knock down one of the doors.

They eventually returned to the boy’s window and were able to grab the boy and drag him to safety.

Paramedics arrived and took the boy to Tampa General Hospital for treatment for burns and smoke inhalation. He was in serious condition on Friday morning.

“If it weren’t for them, my son would have died,” said Chris Aris, Owen’s father, weeping in his back.

McGuinness said Owen’s injuries weren’t as severe as they thought, but that he had second-degree burns to his face. The biggest concern is smoke inhalation, but Owen’s father said his son could switch off the ventilator by Tuesday.

Authorities said McGuinness and her boyfriend, Roy Vaughn, were injured and were taken to Tampa General for medical attention. Vaughn was still being treated at Tampa General for a heart condition.

According to McGuinness, Vaughn was the first person to spot the barn fire after he woke up from a nap. He was the one who told her to call 911.

“If it weren’t for that angel, whoever taped Roy, we’d be having a very different conversation now,” she said.

Sheriff Chad Kronister commended the Hillsborough County Representatives for their work and courage.

“Because of their heroism, this little boy survived,” said Sheriff Kronister. Law enforcement officers are often the first to respond to any emergency scene, so we must always be ready to join in and help. These representatives never hesitated. They are real examples of what it means to be a hero.”

McGinnis thanked the community for their support as her family recovers from the near loss of their home and the life of their son.

“I’m so grateful we’re alive,” she said. “Owen is alive. We will recover from this with the help of all of you.”

McGinnis owns a store in Seffner called Florida Farmhouse Market, which will be open on Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The friends hope to raise funds to support the family after the devastating fire.

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