Miami-Dade crews rescue firefighter's unconscious son from burning home

Antonio Villa thanks heroes for saving his son's life

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – A city of Miami firefighter on Thursday thanked the heroes who saved his son Dec. 23 after their home went up in flames.

Antonio Villa knows all too well the dangers involved when a fire breaks out, but he never thought it would hit so close to home.

"Nobody wants it to happen to them, and you never think it will," Villa said. "Sometimes you think you're invincible."

Villa's son, AJ, was home alone about 11 p.m. Dec. 23 when the fire broke out.

Authorities said the fire spread quickly and AJ tried to escape, but the smoke was too thick.

When Miami-Dade firefighters arrived, they found the home engulfed in flames. Firefighters were told by neighbors that someone might be trapped inside.

"(It was) really difficult to see in there. It was hot. All of the windows were hot. The fire was probably burning for quite some time," Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Capt. Jack Swerdloff said.

One firefighter spotted AJ lying unconscious on the floor and pulled him to safety.

Once outside, firefighters realized that AJ wasn't breathing and they quickly began CPR and regained a pulse.

"After the call I sat down with my crew and I was, like, still in shock," firefighter Danny Montanez said. "I couldn't believe that we had just rescued someone and brought him back."

AJ was taken to the hospital and was discharged within 24 hours. He is now recovering at home.

Meanwhile, Antonio Villa is forever grateful to his fellow firefighters who saved his son's life.

"When you see everything that had to happen for him to be here, I'd say it's a miracle, some good luck and my guys in the back. They did a great job," Villa said.

A GoFundMe page has been created to help AJ in his time of need.


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