Two Unicoi County Sheriff's Office deputies were hospitalized after bursting into a burning home to search for anyone who might have been trapped inside.
According to the USCO, Cpl. Eric Borchgrevink and Deputy Paul Osborne were among emergency personnel to respond to a house fire at 1137 N. Buffalo St., Erwin, shortly before 4 a.m. Thursday.
Both men were familiar with the home and believed three children could be inside, so they entered the burning house to search for them.
As it turned out, no one was at home at the time of the fire.
The house had been vacated prior to the incident and it is believed the owner had been at the residence making repairs on Wednesday evening.
Investigators determined the fire started when an electric heater in a back bedroom caught nearby bedding on fire.
Borchgrevink and Osborne were both hospitalized due to smoke inhalation. They are expected to make full recoveries.
"I am proud of the job that the deputies as well as the investigators have done on this call," said Unicoi County Sheriff Mike Hensley. "Deputies arrived to find a scene that was tense, uncertain and rapidly evolving. They reacted accordingly."