Heroes do not wear capes, but they are simple, ordinary people around us. After a massive fire erupted in Derrick Byrd’s love family home this July, all he thought of was the safety of his nephews and nieces.
The stairs were already burning, and they couldn’t go out that way without getting seriously hurt, so the brave 20-year-old uncle ran down straight through the fire.
When he got out, he was in a lot of pain, but the children were his top priority. He later explained that his sister, Kayla, wanted to get the kids out, but he ran downstairs, as he would rather get burnt than her.
During the fire, six-year-old Junior and four-year-old Rory got onto the second-floor window and jumped down into their uncle’s waiting arms, but his niece, the 8-year-old Mercedes couldn’t jump.
When her mother tried to rescue her, she slipped and fell off the rooftop. At this point, she got back into the building and started screaming his name.
Then, he dived back into the smoky building, found Mercedes in a corner and took off his shirt to protect her lungs from the smoke, while the searing flames were roasting his back. Then, she carried her out as fast as he could.
He sustained second and third-degree burns on his face, legs, back, and arms, and was immediately airlifted to the Harborview Medical Center, along with Mercedes and Junior.
They are still receiving treatment at the medical center, but doctors believe they will all be good soon.
When asked if he felt like a hero, Byrd just explained that he would do it again even if he got burnt worse or died.
His family house was burned down in the fire and the Fire Department is still investigating to find out the cause. Even though they lost everything in the fire, the family is thankful that no life as lost.
Their friends and relatives have come together to donate food, clothes, and other essential materials to help the family restart their life again.
Let us hope that you will never need this knowledge, but you should be prepared in life, and learn what to do in the case of fire.
Read on to find out important tips:
- Almost all buildings have an evacuation plan, so learn it and evacuate during all fire alarm activations.
- Learn the location of all building exits, and have a strategy with at least two ways out.
- If you have to escape through smoke, crawl low to the exit, with the head one to two feet above the floor, as the air is clearer there.
- Test doorknobs and spaces around the door with the back of the hand. If the door is warm, you should try another escape route. In case it is cool, open it slowly, and close it if you see or smell smoke or fire.
- If you are trapped, immediately call the fire department for help, use rags to seal the door, and signal from the window.