20 Year-Old Runs Right Into Fire To Save 8 Year-Old Niece – ‘I’d do it again… even if I died’
A young man from Aberdeen, Washington is being hailed as a hero after he put his own life on the line to save his 8 year-old niece when their house caught on fire.
In the early morning hours of July 4, 20 year-old Derrick Byrd woke up to a loud boom and the sounds of his sister screaming. He immediately realized that the house was on fire, and without hesitating, he took action.
Derrick ran to his sister’s bedroom and kicked down the door before running downstairs through the flames so he could catch her children as she threw them through the upstairs window.
“Kayla wanted to get the kids out, so I ran downstairs even though I got burned,” Derrick recounted.
Though it was still pitch black outside, Derrick was able to catch Junior, 6, and Rory, 3. Just when Kayla was going to throw her 8 year-old daughter Mercedes to safety, the desperate mother slipped and fell off the roof. When her mother fell, Mercedes herself fell back into the bedroom, screaming for Derrick as the house burned around her.
Without thinking twice, Derrick ran back into the house through the flames to rescue Mercedes.
“I could feel it burning me,” Derrick said as he recovered in his hospital bed. “I got her and took my shirt off and put it around her face so she wouldn’t breathe in any smoke, and I just carried her out as fast as I could.”
Once his sister and her three children were safe, Derrick ran to a neighbor’s house and banged on the door to alert them to the fire. Running on adrenalin, he then ran ten blocks to his mother’s house to get a ride to the hospital. Thanks to Derrick’s bravery and quick thinking, his entire family survived the fire.
Though Derrick was left with second- and third-degree burns on his face, back, and arms, he has absolutely no regrets. Covered in bandages all over his body, he said he would “do it again.”
Find out more about this young hero in the video below.