ZEPHYRHILLS, Fla. (WFLA) — Pasco County Fire Rescue firefighters saved a family from their burning home on Wednesday, June 23rd, thanks to a Plant City police officer taking action.
Officer Michal Pietrusinski was walking through his neighborhood just before 8:30 p.m. when he noticed smoke coming from his neighbors’ home on Doe Path Court. Pasco County Fire Rescue said a woman was screaming and running towards the house, where she told Officer Pietrusinski that her two nonverbal autistic sons were likely trapped inside.
Officer Pietrusinski crawled through the smoke-filled home, attempting to tamp down the flames with a garden hose as he searched for the children.
The officer rescued one of the boys by the time firefighters arrived, but one was still missing. Firefighters found the boy inside a shower with the water running and pulled him from the home. The video above shows paramedics working quickly to save his life.
The boy was air-lifted to the hospital for smoke inhalation, but he has since been released. Pasco County Fire Rescue said that the boy is expected to make a full recovery. Officer Pietrusinski was also taken to the hospital and released.
Officer Pietrusinski is new to the Plant City Police Department. He was sworn in as an officer on June 10th as part of the department’s new officer sponsorship program.
“She said, ‘they’re in there,'” Pietrusinski said Monday. “I have to go in and get them.”
Pietrusinski said he was in the right place at the right time.
“I started yelling, ‘if you can hear my voice, come towards it, come towards it,’ and there was no response,” Pietrusinski said.
Pietrusinski is thankful, and said he would do it again.
“I know that God has a plan for everything and God put me in there definitely at the right place at the right time,” Pietrusinski said. “You go in. You do everything to complete the mission to save the lives.”
Pietrusinski served seven and a half years in the U.S. Navy and four years as a Search and Rescue Swimmer. He said he has some search and rescue experience, but nothing like this, so he’s thankful.
“I thank God everything went the right way,” Pietrusinski said.