WESTWOOD (CBS) – An off-duty firefighter and a police officer saved two lives early Thursday morning.

A fire broke out in a home on Washington Street around 12:30 a.m.

WBZ-TV’s Alana Gomez reports

Sgt. Bruce McDonald was doing a routine patrol in the area when he saw the fire.

“The only thing I could think of at the time was I blasted my siren and horn at the same time,” he told WBZ-TV.

The noise woke up a woman and her neice inside and the family of a firefighter who lives across the street.

“My niece heard the cruiser and the siren,” said Robert Donovan, the homeowner’s brother.  “She ran downstairs and, from what I understand, she alerted my sister who was also sleeping.”

While they were escaping they saw their neighbor, firefighter Ed Brown.

Brown was off-duty when his daughter woke him up to tell him about the fire.

He ran across the street to check on his neighbors and do a quick sweep of the house. Brown then joined his fellow firefighters to battle the three-alarm blaze.

Flames quickly spread to all three floors of the house and went through the roof. Firefighters were challenged by the home’s age and balloon framing.

Investigators have yet to determine the cause. The fire started on the outside of the front of the house.

Donovan thanked both Brown and Sgt. McDonald for helping his family.

“There’s no doubt in my mind you saved their lives,” Donovan said to Sgt. McDonald as he hugged him. “Thank you.”

“I’ll be retiring in about a year and if I can think I had something to do with helping two people then it’s a good feeling to go out that way on those terms,” McDonald told WBZ-TV.

WBZ-TV’s Alana Gomez contributed to this story


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