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Off-duty officer saves 2 boys from ME house fire

Though others are calling the officer’s actions heroic, the public servant says he feels he was just doing his duty. (Source: Warren Forbes/WGME/CNN) Though others are calling the officer’s actions heroic, the public servant says he feels he was just doing his duty. (Source: Warren Forbes/WGME/CNN)

LIVERMORE FALLS, ME (WGME/CNN) – Two boys escaped a house fire with only minor injuries, thanks to an off-duty Maine police officer who helped catch the boys as they jumped from the third floor.

There was no time to think Tuesday night when a home in Livermore Falls, ME, went up in flames with a 10-year-old and 14-year-old stuck inside.

"I don't think you can train for that. Instinct needs to kick in with that,” said Chief Ernest Steward with the Livermore Falls Police.

But police Sgt. Vernon Stevens, who was off duty at the time, knew what to do right away.

"He went to the residence to see what was going on, and when he got there, he saw the two boys in the window,” Steward said.

 The two boys were trapped on the third floor.

"Given where the fire was and the amount of smoke, their only way out was to come out that window," a firefighter said.

Stevens encouraged the boys to climb out the window and jump into his arms.

Both boys were able to escape with only minor injuries.

"The sergeant caught him [one of the two boys] and helped him. They both went to the ground. Then, the second boy jumped, landed on a secondary roof and then bounced off from that onto the ground,” Steward said.

Though others are calling Stevens’ actions heroic, the public servant feels he was just doing his duty.

"He didn't want to be on camera. He said he wanted the praise to be for the boys for jumping out of a three-story window like that because they were the brave ones, not him,” Steward said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. One man died in the blaze, and the home was destroyed.

The boys are reportedly still in the hospital.

Copyright 2018 WGME, John Blais, Laurel Wheaton, Warren Forbes via CNN. All rights reserved.

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