Officer wakes family in burning house

July 13, 2009 6:29:55 PM PDT
A Smithfield police officer is being credited with saving a family from their burning home around 2 a.m. Monday.Officer W.T. Lee saw the fire from West Market Street and rushed to wake up the residents. He banged on the windows until they woke up.

Javier Ramirez told Eyewitness News he and his family had lived in the house for six years. And although they lost almost all of their personal belongings in the fire, the family is happy to be alive.

"We are lucky to be alive after all of this," Ramirez said. "We don't care for the things."

Ramirez, his wife Maria and their three daughters; 19-year-old Gissell, 17-year-old Viviana and 12-year-old Erika escaped the burning home by jumping out of windows.

No one was injured and even the dog escaped.

Ramirez hopes he gets the opportunity to tell Officer Lee thank you. "I want to tell him personally, thank you very much," Ramirez said.

The Red Cross is assisting the family with lodging and clothing. It will also provide rental assistance for the Ramirez's.


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