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Deputy who saved toddler from burning home: "God put me where I was supposed to be"

photograph courtesy: KJAS

Many are calling a Jasper County deputy a hero for risking his own life to pull a three-year-old girl from a burning home.

The child is now home from a Galveston hospital and so is the deputy, recovering from smoke inhalation and re-living the frightening moments.

Deputy Cody Downs put his life on the line when he saw smoke coming through the roof of a home late Saturday night on FM 3414 near Highway 63 in Jasper County , with a three year old trapped inside.

"God put me where I was supposed to be," said Deputy Downs.

Two children and a baby, left alone when a fire broke out late Saturday night, according to Sheriff Mitchel Newman and Child Protective Services.

The call came in after a five-year-old who happened to be staying with his grandmother next door alerted her to the danger.

Two children escaped the burning home but were unable to help the toddler.

That's when Deputy Downs arrived and rushed in to rescue the little girl, with one thought in mind.

"You can't give up," said Downs. "You have to keep fighting until you get this baby out. She is your number one priority. Get her out and then we will deal with whatever you got going on later."

Flames had engulfed the home. Deputy Downs made his way to the master bedroom where he spotted the child and he was overcome with one emotion.

"Joy because I found the child and she was alive and she was breathing, and by the grace of God you know he put her under a blanket. I firmly believe that God wrapped a blanket around that child to keep her from getting injured."

Risking his life, battling through the smoke with the child in his arms as he searched for a way out.

"When I came out of the house I felt myself about to pass out, so I immediately handed the child off to prevent any further injuries from her."

The deputy collapsed from smoke inhalation. He and the little girl were transported to UTMB in Galveston for treatment.

They're now recovering at their homes. Deputy Downs has been receiving non-stop phone calls from a proud community praising his heroic act .

"You know that's a blessing," said Jasper resident Larry Webb. "Thank God the kid got out."

Investigators are searching for the cause of the fire. CPS is also investigating the case.

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