A Norwell police officer rescued a Massachusetts family of five from their burning home shortly after midnight Thursday.
Officer Joe Esposito helped two adults, three children and a dog evacuate their River Street home prior to the smoke detectors even going off, the fire department said.
The fire had been burning in the attic directly over the bedroom where two young children were sleeping, according to the police department, but all five residents and their pet were safely evacuated with no reported injuries -- thanks to Esposito's heroic actions.
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"It is without question that Officer Esposito’s actions allowed this family to escape their home without serious injury or the loss of life," the Norwell Police Department said in a press release. "We are extremely proud of the heroic actions of Officer Esposito."
Esposito was patrolling the area of Stetson Shrine Road and River Street around 12:40 a.m. when he noticed smoke coming from the garage and breezeway of the home. He investigated further and saw flames coming from the roof on the backside of the breezeway, at which point he immediately called the Norwell Fire Department and began banging on the home's front door to alert the family inside of the fire.
The blaze quickly went to two alarms but has since been knocked down.
The fire likely originated in the attic space over the garage and breezeway and burned up into the attic space over the main home, police said.
"We are so grateful the family is safe and are thoughts are with them during this difficult time," the police department said.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.