Family dog leads firefighters to trapped toddlers

- A Florida deputy, her husband, their two children, and the family dog are recovering after being rescued from a house fire.  Firefighters responded to the fire around 11:20 p.m. on Monday, at a home on Country Hill Drive in the Wekiva Springs area of Seminole County.

Nearby residents first saw the flames and called 911, authorities say.  One of the neighbors was able to break through all the front windows of the home and rescue the Seminole County sheriff's deputy.   When firefighters arrived, they were able to pull her husband from the home. Then, officials say the family dog led firefighters to the couple's 2-year-old daughter and 4-year-old son, who were trapped inside the house.

All four members of the family are hospitalized and listed in critical, but stable, condition.  The dog, a German Shepherd named Maxx, is being treated for smoke inhalation and is expected to make a full recovery.

"We are grateful to the neighbors who jumped into action, and we especially thank the firefighters who selflessly entered the burning structure and risked their lives," said Seminole County Sheriff Don Eslinger.  

The State Fire Marshal's preliminary investigation has determined that the fire was accidental, and that it originated from the back porch of the home.
 
A fund has been designated to provide assistance to the family to help defray medical, veterinary, and other expenses.  Contributions may be made via check to the “Seminole County Sheriff’s Office Employee Benevolent Fund” and sent to 100 Bush Boulevard, Sanford, FL 32773, attention: “Feaser Family Fund.”   Community questions about funding assistance may be directed to 407-665-6880.
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