TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The Tampa Bay Buccaneers invited a 9-year-old boy who was injured in a house fire to training camp on Sunday.
Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister said Owen Ares, who was saved from a raging house fire in Seffner on May 19, “has made a tremendous recovery”. The Bucs rolled out the red carpet for the young fan and his family, letting them get up close and personal with the players as they trained. The Bucs also gifted Owen a football.
The Seffner community rallied around the 9-year-old after heart-stopping video showed the frantic moment deputies saved his life. Owen was rushed to Tampa General Hospital with second and third degree burns to his face and arm, and smoke inhalation. He was sedated and placed on a ventilator at the hospital for several days to allow his body to heal.
“I think I speak for all the plastic and burn team that it’s amazing to see,” the Pediatric Trauma Medical Director at Tampa General Hospital, Dr. Keith Thatch, said. “It’s amazing to see kids recover, how well they recover. There’s a significant amount of trauma both emotionally and physically. I think that his body will go through a lot of recovery, the burn team and plastic team will continue to help him with that and we’ll see. I think right now he’s making strides, literally and so those are always good things.”
Owen was reunited with the deputies who saved his life in early June. Shortly after the reunion, Owen helped Sheriff Chad Chronister present the Life Saving Award to the two deputies at the Second Quarter Awards Ceremony at the Faulkenburg Road Jail.
“Heroic actions and steadfast service to our community are achievements that deserve to be celebrated, and this is our chance to say thank you to those who have played a major role in making Hillsborough County an excellent place to live,” Sheriff Chronister said.