TYLER, Texas (AP) - An 18-month-old boy was injured Tuesday in
an early morning apartment fire and two firefighters were hurt as
they worked to rescue the child. The boy's parents jumped to safety
from a window.
The child was taken to a hospital in Dallas and his condition
was not immediately available. The firefighters were recovering
from non life-threatening injuries.
Fire officials said closed bedroom doors provided some
protection from the buildup of smoke in the apartment. When
firefighters went in through the front door, a flashover occurred
and the interior burst into flames again.
"The parents had left the bedroom door closed," said
firefighter Hal Walker, who was at the top of the ladder outside
the baby's room. "That's what gave the baby a chance to survive.
We were still trying to get inside."
Walker scooped up the baby and handed him out the window to
Capt. Royce Daugherty, who was standing on the ladder. Walker fell
after descending from the ladder and broke his ankle.
"There was a lot of smoke," Daugherty said in a story in
Wednesday's Tyler Morning Telegraph. "He handed the baby toward me
through the broken window."
Firefighter Daniel Bailey was caught in the flashover and
suffered burns to his neck.
"I was just inside the doorway when it flashed over," Bailey
said. "It was one big fireball. When I felt the heat and heard the
glass from the windows blow, I hit the ground and used my elbows to
crawl out - fire was rolling above my head."
Aluminum air ducts began to melt and drop heated liquid metal
onto the firefighter below.
"I could feel the heat, but all I was thinking about was
getting the kid out," Bailey said.
The cause of the fire remained under investigation.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)