Kent Co. deputy breaks window, shouts to wake homeowners from burning home

Posted at 9:42 PM, Dec 18, 2014
and last updated 2014-12-18 22:43:48-05

BYRON TOWNSHIP, Mich. -- A Kent County Sheriff's deputy saved a family from a burning home earlier this week.

Deputy Ryan Dannenberg was almost halfway through his overnight shift when the call came in the early morning hours of December 13. He said he was in the right place at the right time, being just two miles away from where a neighbor reported a house on fire on Burlingame Avenue in Byron Township.

"I ran up to the house and I could see that there was nobody outside of the house," said Dannenberg. "So I started pounding on the door, doing everything I could to wake up whoever was in there."

There weren't any lights on or cars in the driveway, but Dannenberg said he still wanted to make sure that if anyone was inside they'd make it out alive.

Finally someone came to the door.

"I asked her real quick who else was in the house, and she said that she had a friend from out of town that was sleeping in the downstairs bedroom," said Dannenberg.

Dannenberg said that he walked into the burning house, but was unable to use the stairwell to the downstairs bedroom because of the smoke. He then ran to the back of the house.

"I used my baton to break out the window. Smashed that window, was able to wake her up and once she woke up, she was able to open up a different window right next to it, so she wasn't climbing out with the broken glass."

The family calls him a hero.

Dannenberg isn't calling himself a hero but instead said that he just did what came natural to him.

"I was raised in a very selfless household. It seemed to have translated to me that, hey if you can help somebody, then you do it."

The homeowner tells FOX 17 that he'd like to reunite with Deputy Dannenberg to thank him once again, and Deputy Dannenberg said that he'd also like to reunite sometime in the near future.

A Hamilton native, Dannenberg, 25, has been working as a Kent County Sheriff's Deputy for about two years.