Brave Boys Rescue Babies from Burning Building
Imagine you are casually sat on your sofa, playing computer games or watching videos on YouTube when you smell smoke. Glancing out of your window, you see your neighbour’s house is on fire. What do you do?
Two boys from Oakland in Florida were chilling out at the start of their summer holidays when they smelled something odd. Jeremiah Grimes, 11, and 10-year-old Isiah Francis rushed to the window to try and find the source of the smell.
Smoke was streaming out of a nearby house!
Without thinking twice about it, the boys put on their shoes and ran outside. There they encountered the neighbour who lives in the house – a man they called “the step-dad” – who was trying to find water to put out the flames.
The frantic neighbour told the boys that there were two very young children stuck in the kitchen.
This is where the boys’ stories vary slightly, though the result is the same.
According to Jeremiah, he followed Isiah into the kitchen. “It was really dark and smoky,” he described. “All you could see was orange and black.”
He said they each picked up one of the children – a one-year-old and a baby of only eight months – and retreated out of the house as quickly as they could.
Isiah said that he went into the kitchen while Jeremiah stood in the doorway guiding him as he couldn’t see through the thick smoke. He scooped up both of the children, gave the youngest to his friend, and together they brought the children out of danger.
“It was really smoky,” Isiah remembers. “I could kind of see, but I had to use my sense of touch.”
The boys took the younger children back to Isiah’s house, just a short walk away. They called the emergency services, like they had been trained to do at school, and gave water to the rescued kids while they waited for help to arrive.
Shortly after the firefighters arrived, two more children were pulled from the home. They went to hospital, and both were in a stable condition.
Jeremiah’s mum, Stef, said the boys had done something that an adult would have thought twice about doing. “They were very heroic,” she said.
But the boys deny there was any heroism involved, and that they were only working on instinct. Their training at school had helped the boys know to call 911 in the event of a fire and what information to give the firefighters.
Orange Country Fire Rescue Department Fire Chief Otto Drozd III also praised the boys for their bravery.
“Although we never advise entering a building on fire,” he said, “we must recognise the courage it took for those kids to risk their own lives to save the lives of others.”