GAINESVILLE - Two Gainesville police officers rescued a 5-year-old boy from a burning house on Banks Street early Saturday morning, according to law enforcement authorities.
Gainesville Police Cpl. Kevin Holbrook said the officers, who were on duty at the time of the fire, arrived at the house at 719 Banks Street around 1:30 a.m. When they arrived at the scene, they were told the child was still inside.
"Fortunately, this was in close proximity to the police department, so they were able to quickly get there within a matter of minutes - if not seconds - and were able to bring that child to safety," said Holbrook.
He identified the officers as Cpl. Drew Reed and Officer Steven Folkers.
Gainesville Fire Marshal Chad Payne said the child suffered second degree burns to his face as a result of the fire. The boy was transported to Grady Hospital in Atlanta for treatment.
Payne said a total of five adults and four children lived in the 1,500-square-foot house. One of the adults was taken to Northeast Georgia Medical Center for treatment of smoke inhalation.
Payne, who noted that there were no working smoke detectors in the house, said the fire started in the area of a space heater in a bedroom.
The house, valued at $60,000, is a total loss, according to Payne.
The Red Cross was called to assist the family.
NOTE: The Gainesville Fire Department asks residents to remember to check smoke detectors to ensure that they are working correctly. Homeowners should have at least one smoke detector for every floor of the house. It is best to install them outside of the bedroom areas. Fire Capt. Keith Smith said if residents do not have smoke detectors and they live within the city limits of Gainesville, they can call the Gainesville Fire Department at 770-534-3612 to have a smoke detector installed.