OGDENSBURG A woman and her two young children escaped injury early Monday when their home caught fire.
Brandy J. Thomas, 28, of 312 Adams Ave., and her 5-year-old daughter and 3-year-old son, whose names are unavailable, were assisted by retired city fire Capt. Jefferson E. Thornton, 50, who lives across the street at 319 Adams Ave.
Ms. Thomas escaped the one-story house with her son. Mr. Thornton ran inside the house and rescued the girl from her bedroom.
The houses rear and kitchen were burned and there was smoke and water damage throughout, Assistant Chief Michael J. Farrell said. The cause of the fire, which was reported at 3:27 a.m., is under investigation.
Mr. Thornton, who retired from the department in 2008, said he could see flames and smoke coming from the house across the street from his.
I knew exactly what I was doing, he said, recalling that he ran across the street and began knocking hard on the front door.
Ms. Thomas soon appeared with her son.
I think she was in shock, he said. It was hot.
After rescuing the girl, Mr. Thornton led the family to his front porch to await the arrival of firefighters and the Ogdensburg Volunteer Rescue Squad.
Ms. Thomas unavailable for comment.