LANCASTER (CBSLA) — Flames were coming out of windows and out of the roof, but two Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies didn’t wait for firefighters – they ran inside to make sure everyone had come out of a burning Lancaster apartment building.

Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies Samuel Goldstein and Tanner Harris were first on the scene of a fire that broke out at about 4 p.m. Wednesday in an apartment building off 16th Street West in Lancaster. Checking for anyone trapped, they found a father and his 1-year-old son still in their apartment.

When they called to Jason Williams, they didn’t hear an answer from inside. So they kicked down the door to pull Williams and 1-year-old Charlie to safety.

“Definitely surprised the dad,” Goldstein said with a chuckle. “He didn’t know we were coming in.”

(credit: CBS)

The fire started on the apartment’s first floor and spread to the second floor, filling the apartment with smoke. Williams says he is grateful to the deputies for braving the fire.

“Smoke inhalation is nothing to joke about, you know. It’s a silent killer,” he said.

Goldstein and Harris say they don’t want to be called heroes – it was simply another day on the job.

“It’s a team effort, it’s not just one person, you know,” Goldstein said. “We just happened to be the ones who knocked on that door. It could have been any of us.”


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