A Florida father is a hero after saving his family from a fire that ripped through their apartment in the middle of the night.
The family’s apartment and belongings are destroyed, but everyone is alive and well thanks to the efforts of Ryan Rich, who evacuated his children from a fire before first responders arrived.
It was after 11 p.m. on Feb. 2 when Rich was walking to his Pompeo Beach apartment after work.
His children were sound asleep at home when Rich heard the distant cries for help.
“As soon as I approached my house, I see the door wide open,” Rich told WPLG.
“I hear my girl, she’s running out screaming, ‘Help, help! House on fire. Somebody help me! The kids are inside.'”
“I dropped everything and just charged right in,” Rich said.
According to WPLG, Rich’s girlfriend had their 3-month-old baby, Olivia, in her arms.
The other three children, Jaryah, 6, Mariah, 2, and Jayden, 1, were still asleep in their bedroom.
Rich burst into his children’s bedroom and saw flames rising out of the air conditioning unit near her daughter’s bed.
“The AC was on fire,” Rich said. “My daughter’s bunk bed was right there.”
“She was asleep in the bunk bed, so I woke her up and pulled her down.”
Rich was able to evacuate his children from the life-threatening fire.
As paramedics arrived, they took all of the children and Rich’s girlfriend to the hospital as a precaution.
Staff from the American Red Cross South Florida came to provide some emergency assistance to the family who lost all of their belongings.
Rich says any father would have run into the fire in order to save his children, he was simply acting as the protector of his home.
“My number one priority was to protect my family,” Rich told WTVJ.
“Just being a father, I did what any father would do,” Rich said. “It’s simple.”
The family has started a GoFundMe account to help get them back on their feet. Their most urgent needs are clothing, especially for the kids, and housing.
Pompano Beach Fire investigators are working to determine the cause of the fire.
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