SEFFNER, Fla. — A Seffner boy who nearly died in a house fire back in May is able to run up and down the football field once again.
"I use this as an opportunity to show him what we can do when tragedy strikes and in life son, tragedy will strike again and we will get through it," Owen Ares' mother, Karen McGinnis, said.
It's a recovery his family says is truly amazing and they credit Owen's strength.
"Here he is. He made a full speedy recovery, on the field and he started 4th grade yesterday. I am just grateful," McGinnis said.
Hillsborough fire investigators said the fire started in the barn and then spread to the house.
McGinnis and her boyfriend were able to make it out of the house with their animals, but Owen was inside asleep at the time. Two deputies with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office broke a window and pulled Owen out of the burning house.
"To watch him being pulled out of that fire to the condition he was in and the last week of school he missed because he was in the ICU fighting for his life. Us not knowing while he was in the hospital what the outcome was going to be," McGinnis explained.
Owen spent weeks in the hospital as he recovered from smoke inhalation and severe burns. Owen had an extensive recovery, learning to breathe, eat and walk again.
Owen's mom said he remained so strong through it all. One of Owen's favorite things to do is play football. When he left the hospital that was the one thing is was looking forward to doing. This week, he returned to practice.
"I’m not out of breath that much. I’m energetic, like when I’m practicing right now, we have a game on Saturday and I’m excited for that," Owen said.
Owen plays for the Seffner Seahawks and is excited to be back on the field doing what he loves. "It’s fun because you get to score and it’s fun when you win," he said.
Owen will play his first football game this Saturday since leaving the hospital.