A firefighter in Washington D.C. is being hailed a hero after catching a 2-year-old who was dropped from the second-floor window of a burning apartment building.
On Sunday night, firefighter Jared McKinney was among the fire and EMS crews that responded to a fire at an apartment building in the district’s southeast section, Fox 11 Online reported. McKinney saw the child’s father sitting on the window sill as the fire engulfed the building.
In full survival mode, the father called out to McKinney and trusted him to catch his 2-year-old boy.
“He told me…’Catch my child, don’t drop him,’ and he dropped the child down, and I caught the child,” McKinney said.
“The only thing that was going through my mind was, ‘Make sure you secure the catch.’ Just make sure I secured the catch with the kid,” McKinney said.
McKinney quickly responded to rescue the young child. “Me being a father myself, you always want to protect your kids,” he said. “So I could definitely see in his face that he wanted to get his family to safety as quickly as possible by any means necessary.
“I was just glad I was there to help him.”
McKinney, a wagon driver for Engine Co. 25, caught the child uninjured, WUSA 9 reported. After 10 minutes of wrestling with the fire, crews put out the flames and saved multiple people from the building.
An extension ladder was used to rescue the father, mother, and another small child, as according to WTOP.
“Every fire ground is different,” McKinney said. “When he dropped the child down, I extended my arms, and when I felt the child made contact, I just cradled the child to my body.
McKinney has rescued many people in his 17-year career as a firefighter. But this is the first time he has caught a child from a burning building.