Helping People

He heard his neighbor scream, so he put on a pest-control mask and went into the smoke

Hero neighbor extinguishes Broward house fire

A helpful neighbor, Alan Potrzuski, ran over to his next-door neighbors home with a fire extinguisher and a mask when he heard her screaming and saw black smoke coming from her Deerfield Beach home.
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A helpful neighbor, Alan Potrzuski, ran over to his next-door neighbors home with a fire extinguisher and a mask when he heard her screaming and saw black smoke coming from her Deerfield Beach home.

Her dishwasher caught on fire and she was screaming. With enough time, it could have engulfed her kitchen.

Just after 10 a.m. Friday, Alan Potrzuski heard the commotion coming from the house next door.

It was his neighbor’s voice and she was screaming.

When the 64-year-old Potrzuski looked outside, black smoke was coming from the home in the 3400 block of Southwest Third Court in Deerfield Beach, according to Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue.

Potrzuski didn’t wait for firefighters to arrive. He donned a breathing mask he uses while working as a pest control technician, and also a fire extinguisher.

When he went inside the home, he found the dishwasher burning in the kitchen and went to work putting out the fire.

Fire-rescue arrived about three minutes later. . Potrzuski and his neighbor, who was not identified, were safely outside. The house was saved, too.

Firefighters ventilated the home and took away the burned dishwasher.

“Mr. Potrzuski‘s swift actions likely contributed to the homeowners safe escape and minimized damages to the home from the fire. This situation clearly emphasizes the importance for homeowners to not only have working smoke alarms in their home, but fire extinguishers as well,” said Battalion Chief Michael B. Kane.

The Florida State Fire Marshal is conducting an investigation to determine what caused the dishwasher to catch fire.

When fire-rescue asked Potrzuski what he would do with the rest of his day, he said he was “going to head to Costco to get a new fire extinguisher.”

Miami Herald Real Time Reporter Devoun Cetoute covers breaking news, Florida theme parks and general assignment. He attends the University of Florida and grew up in Miami. Theme parks are on his mind in and out of the office.
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