Sunday, July 6 2014 3:53 PM EDT2014-07-06 19:53:36 GMT
(WMC) - Shelby County deputies and firefighters rescued a toddler from inside a locked Nissan Altima Saturday afternoon. With afternoon temperatures at 86 degrees and hardly no clouds in the sky, the toddler'sMore >
Shelby County deputies and firefighters rescued a toddler from inside a locked Nissan Altima Saturday afternoon.More >
It happened in the parking lot of the Kroger store located at 1230 Houston Levee Road in Cordova, Tenn. WMC Action News 5's Ben Watson spoke with the first responders who rescued the little girl, and likely saved her life.
Shelby County Fire Lieutenant Joe Rea says when he and other firefighters pulled into the grocery store parking lot, witnesses directed them to a Nissan Altima with a toddler locked inside.
In a phone interview, Lt. Rea said that firefighters moved quickly and he was able to pull the toddler out of the hot car within a minute.
"She was sweating and crying so I just told my guys to break the window."
According to an affidavit, the temperature inside the car was more than 90 degrees. Witnesses say it was a blessing they got the child out before any more time passed.
Officers traced the car's tags and then went into Kroger to find the parents, Matthew Brown and Brittany Zanetti. Shortly afterward, Brown came out and ran to the car looking for his daughter.
"And he asked me you know, 'Where's my girl, my baby girl,' and I said 'She's in my fire truck right now with the paramedics.'"
According to Lt. Rea, Brown told him that he "screwed up." The affidavit noted that the couple's initial response was that leaving the child in the car was a "momentary lapse in judgment."
Officers arrested Brown and Zanetti on the spot, and the toddler was rushed to the hospital in stable condition.
Rescuing that toddler was a team effort and Lt. Rea hopes all parents will be more careful and mindful about children being left in hot cars.
"And I just cannot wrap my head around how you can leave a child in a car by purpose or accident, and for gosh sakes, take care of your children."
Brown and Zanetti have been charged with abuse and neglect of a child under six years old. Both posted a $10,000 bond and have been released from jail.
Officials say the child will be placed in the care of her grandmother.
Click here to learn more about the State of Tennessee initiative, "Look Before You Lock".
Copyright 2014 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.
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