A Florida cop is being heralded after heroically climbing an apartment building Saturday to rescue a 1-year-old baby.
Orange County Sheriff’s Deputy William Puzynski was one of the first officers to respond around 4:15 a.m. to a fire at Isles at East Millenia, an apartment complex in Orlando, Florida.
“When I got here, we saw the building fully engulfed,” Puzynski told WKMG-TV. “It was chaos everywhere.”
Individuals and families were trapped on balconies as flames raged around them. And when Puzynski saw a baby on one of the terraces, he knew he had to jump into action.
“I saw on the third balcony there’s a 1-year-old baby that the mom was trying to get over. At that moment I knew I had to save the baby,” the cop said. “And then I just climbed up to the third, grabbed the baby, and then again I handed the baby down to my partners, and they helped me down.”
There’s another interesting element to the story. Puzynski took off his bulletproof vest and threw it on the ground before climbing — an act that inadvertently provided video of the rescue.
“Just before climbing up the building, Deputy Puzynski took off his heavy outer ballistic vest — which his camera is attached to — to make it easier for him to climb,” a news release explained. “It’s an amazing twist of fate that the camera was able to capture what happened next.”
Puzynski can be seen in the footage climbing balconies before reaching the screaming child. Fortunately, the rescue unfolded without incident, and the baby’s mom and grandma exited via a ladder, according to WTVD-TV.
The officer said it was incredibly “rewarding” to save the baby and see the mother’s joy. Thankfully, he and other officers exhibited bravery and saved the young child — and other residents’ — lives.
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Three people were hurt in the fire, and some residents were displaced. Continue to pray for those impacted by the tragic event.
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