Deputy Braswell recovering after catching  fire

LAURENS COUNTRY, SC (FOX Carolina) - A 16 year old is being credited for jumping into action when her father's engine exploded, leading to him being consumed by fire. 

The 16 year old's ability to put the fire out is believed to have saved his life.

Her father is a deputy with the Laurens County Sheriff's Office, but he never believed he would be on the other end of a 911 call needing help.  

He says they came running when they called, but he was in good hands until they arrived. 

Today, he is in some pain, but looks better than you would imagine after what he went through just 4 days ago. 

He spent some days at the burn unit and has a long road ahead, but he has the support of his community and his family helping him along the way.  

Arianna tearfully says she's "glad he is alive," but seeing him like this is hard.

Arianna is Deputy Braswell's baby girl, who is still in shock that a few days ago, their life changed forever when his car broke down. Sunday around 2 am, his wife and daughter went to help along Templeton Road in Laurens.  

Darlene Braswell says, "he called and Summer and I happen to be awake so we jumped in the car and we were headed down that way and a tree almost fell on our car. We had to stop in Station 21 came and got that out of our way and we went on to rescue him."

When they arrived, Braswell was trying to work on his car. While under the hood, the engine exploded, catching his hat on fire as well as more of his upper body.

Darlene Braswell recalls seeing, "a ball of flames running… You could not see a human it was just straight up flames."

Deputy Ralph Braswell says, "I was consumed with the flames and I did not know until after the fact that she was patting on me."

Summer, his 16 year old daughter, who he and his family took into their home 5 years ago, jumped into action getting the fire out, saving her dad's life.

Summer says, "they have gave me love that I’ve never had before. They care about me. And if it wasn’t for them I don’t know where I would be. Five years seems like a lifetime it really does."

A lifetime that she will now get to spend with her adoptive parents. Her dad is forever grateful for her help.

Ralph says he, "told her I loved her and I appreciated it and I really mean that. i’m thankful I’m alive, I’m thankful that it is no worse than it is. I mean it is bad but you know I should heal up from it and get back to work because I enjoy my job,"

"Medics, the hospital, the doctors have all said had she not, this could have been a lot worse, a lot. It was horrible horrible but she did it, she did it," says Darlene.

Summer says that, "people were calling me a hero but I just did what anybody would do and at the moment in time when there is nothing else you can do but to be there and help."

This family says they are working to raise enough money to get a hospital bed in their home. They found out that it is not covered by insurance.

Their bedroom isn't suitable for Ralph to recover, so they are hoping to set him up in a part of their home that has hardwood floors. 

A local kennel, Pet Commander Boarding, is taking in their dogs as well. The dogs needed to be taken out of the home to create a cleaner environment for Ralph's skin to heal.

You can go into a Suntrust bank and ask to sent money to Justin Bandy. Make sure that you let them know the donation is for Officer Braswell. 

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