Bradenton dad rescues children from burning apartment, suffers serious injuries

Manatee County

BRADENTON, Fla. (WFLA) — A Bradenton family is recovering after having lost everything in an apartment fire Saturday night. Several more people are without a home as well.

Kevin Hawkins is counting his blessings. He says he was outside when his apartment caught on fire. His wife and four of his kids were still inside, so he ran back in to save them.

“We turned around and next thing you know smoke is coming out of the house,” Hawkins said. “It was just pure adrenaline and where are my kids because it was so smoky in there, I couldn’t find them.”

Hawkins says his wife was able to get out the 16-unit apartment complex, as well as other families living there.

Hawkins, his wife and four children all went to local hospitals. Hawkins sustained serious injuries to his legs, hand and arm after jumping out of the bedroom window.

“I just went straight through the glass door to get my kids, I dragged my three kids out and had to go back and get my 4-month-old,” Hawkins said.

The community is rallying behind the family. By Monday night, a GoFundMe had raised more than $8,000. Hawkins says the support will help them get through this tragedy. 

“We’re very thankful and we appreciate everything people are doing for us,” Hawkins said.

Hawkins four children were released from Tampa General Hospital Monday night. He says his wife was also released from Blake Medical Center in Bradenton.

Manatee County Commissioner Kevin Van Ostenbridge was on a ride-along with Manatee deputies when the fire broke out. He’s created a GoFundMe page to help support the victims.

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