A western Iowa sheriff’s deputy credits the wind for “blowing in the right direction” for his actions that likely saved the lives of a family this morning. Audubon County Sheriff’s Deputy Jason Rokke  was on routine patrol, driving through the town of Brayton at 4 a.m., when he rolled down the window and noticed the smell of smoke.

“I drove around town trying to figure out where it was coming from,” Rokke said. “I came across a house with smoke coming out of attic vents…so I notified my dispatch to get the fire department coming. I knocked on the doors of the house and finally got the occupants to answer and got them out.”

Two adults and two children escaped the home without injury. Rokke said they were sleeping and unaware of the fire in the attic. “I was definitely happy that I was able to smell (the smoke). The wind was in the right direction so it took the smoke across my path,” Rokke said.

Investigators aren’t sure yet what sparked the fire, but since it appears to have started in the attic, Rokke thinks it may have been an electrical problem. The 27-year-old Rokke is a 2004 graduate of the Belmond-Klemme High School and a 2008 graduate of Simpson College.

He has served with the Audubon County Sheriff’s Department for about a year-and-a-half. It’s Rokke’s first full-time job in law enforcement. Previously, he had served as a security guard for a Des Moines insurance company.

By Ric Hanson, KJAN, Atlantic