BOYLE HEIGHTS (CBSLA) — It was a heartfelt “thank you” for the LAPD officers who helped rescue a mother’s children.

“I’m very thankful for the officers, nobody called them, they just showed up,” Maritza Ruiz said in Spanish.

Officers Jeremy Paciorkowski, and Christina Ledesma, of the LAPD Harbor Division, saw the smoke from Maritza Ruiz’s Wilmington home August 31 and rushed in to help. Cell phone video was taken by neighbors.

“It was just human beings coming together trying to save other human beings,” Paciorkowski said.

Officer Paciorkowski suffered smoke inhalation while he helped rescue Maritza’s 11-year-old daughter.

She and her 13-year-old brother suffered serious injuries and are still in the ICU. Their 15-year-old sister was also hurt but is now out of the hospital.

“Nobody has words to describe what I’m going through, what my kids are going through. Nothing can be said to give me comfort,” Ruiz said.

Police say Ruiz’s neighbor, 39-year-old George Garcia Pineda. Set the home on fire. He’s now facing attempted murder and arson charges.

Ruiz says she doesn’t know why her neighbor tried to hurt her family.

Since the accident the officers have visited the family and their Harbor Division has collected money to help them get back on their feet.

If you would like to help the family, click on their GoFundMe link.

“Something that they had nothing to do with, so I guess that just kind of touched something, and felt like I wanted to help them out,” Ledesma said.


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