DEERFIELD BEACH (CBSMiami) – A Deerfield Beach man’s quick thinking helped save his neighbor’s life and her home on Friday.
Alan Potrzuski, 64, told firefighters he heard screaming from his neighbor’s house at around 10 a.m. and when he looked outside, he saw all of the people who live in the house on the front lawn and smoke coming out from the residence, located near the 3430 block of SW 3rd Court.
Potrzuski said his neighbors were yelling for their “grandma” to not run back into the house, but he said she went inside anyways.
According to Broward Sheriff’s Fire Rescue, Potrzuski put on a re-breather mask he uses for his job as a pest control technician and rushed next door with a fire extinguisher in hand.
He located the fire in the kitchen dishwasher and began fighting the flames.
By the time emergency responders arrived, they said most of the fire was put out and Potrzuski and his elderly neighbor were safely outside.
Fire crews ventilated the remaining smoke out of the house and removed the dishwasher.
“Mr. Potrzuski‘s swift actions likely contributed to the homeowners safe escape and minimized damages to the home from the fire. This situation clearly emphasizes the importance for homeowners to not only have working smoke alarms in their home, but fire extinguishers as well,” said a spokesperson for BSO Fire. “These important life-saving tools can be the difference between life and death. Thankfully, no serious injuries were reported.”
When crews asked Potrzuski about the importance of having a personal fire extinguisher, he said, “Definitely have one, you definitely should have one. This one, I think is about 30-years old, but it still worked fine.”
Fire officials said Potrzuski told them the next thing he was going to do was “head to Costco to get a new fire extinguisher.”
Florida State Fire Marshall said it will investigate what caused the dishwasher to catch fire.