July 8, 2019
A 20-year-old man in Aberdeen, Washington, is being hailed a hero for rushing into a burning home to rescue his niece and two nephews.
Derrick Byrd is suffering from 2nd and 3rd degree burns on his face, back and arms but he says he “would do it again.”
“I’d rather get burnt than her. She’s young. She’s still got a lot of stuff going for her. She’s a good kid,” Byrd said about his niece.
When the fire broke, Byrd jumped into action helping the childrens’ mother, Kayla, his sister, get the kids out of the second-floor window.
“I ran downstairs even though I got burnt,” he told KOMO News. “Started catching the kids. I caught Junior and I caught Baby Rory out of Kayla’s window.”
But 8-year-old Mercedes was afraid to jump and when her mom fell off the roof, Mercedes fell back into the burning room.
“She was screaming my name,” said Byrd. “So I wasn’t just going to let her sit there. I wasn’t going to let my niece die.”
“And I just ran up the stairs and pushed through the fire,” he said. “I could feel it burning me. I got her and took my shirt off and put it around her face so she wouldn’t breath in any smoke and I just carried her out as fast as I could.”
Derrick Byrd / Credit: KOMO News
Byrd and all three children are being treated at the hospital for burns.
“I would do it again,” Byrd said from his hospital bed. “I really would. I don’t care. I really would. I’d run back in there and do it again even if I got burnt worse or died.”
The family’s home appears to be a complete loss, with firefighters and police officers expressing their relief at the fact nobody was killed — thanks to Byrd’s heroic actions.
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