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Deputies, sergeant aid in rescue of woman, disabled boy from burning home

December 13, 2009 | 12:26 pm

Five sheriff's deputies and a sergeant helped rescue a woman and her disabled son from a house fire early this morning.

The rescuers -- five men and one woman whose identities were being withheld for safety reasons, according to L.A. County sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore -- were on patrol around 3 a.m. when they saw a house fully engulfed in flames in an unincorporated area near Compton.

A man in front of the house, in the 14900 block of South Gibson Avenue, said his wife was inside, but the flames and heat were so intense he could not reenter to rescue her. Other than a side door, all the doors and windows on the house had safety bars.

After alerting firefighters, the deputies used a garden hose to saturate the door and the hallway, so fire crews could enter. They also used a pick to remove the bars on the bedroom window and smashed the glass. Firefighters who arrived on the scene passed the unconscious woman through the window to safety. They then learned that the disabled 14-year-old was inside, so firefighters reentered the building and rescued the teen, who was also unconscious.

The mother and son are in critical but stable condition. The teen suffered burns on 20% of his body. The deputy who broke the window required stitches on his hands and arms and was treated and released.

-- Seema Mehta