CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Two children are alive Tuesday thanks to Cleveland firefighters who rescued them from a smoky three-story home Monday night.
The 7-year-old girl and 2-year-old boy weren't breathing when firefighters scooped them up and rushed them out of a finished attic. But, they were revived by medics en route to the hospital, according to The Plain Dealer.
About 10:39 p.m., firefighters found a blaze in the entry stairwell and heavy black smoke throughout the house.
Crews gave reporters the following account of the incident:
A woman drove up and repeatedly yelled, "My babies inside."
Firefighter Angel Marrero, without a hose, kicked in the front door, jumped over the fire and a hole where two steps had burned away and ran to the second floor. He found it was empty, as other firefighters on ladders broke windows and black smoke billowed from the second floor.
Firefighters with charged hoses doused the stairwell blaze, while firefighter Matt Holian ran behind the house and discovered a rusty fire escape leading to the third floor. Holian grabbed a short ladder to reach the fire escape steps that end at the second floor. He ran up the rusty steps to the attic, broke the window and climbed inside. He found a 7-year-old girl on the floor near the window, grabbed her limp body, carried her down to the front yard and began CPR. Paramedics took her to University Hospitals..."
Fire officials continued to describe what happened after that rescue.
"The mother screamed that there still was a baby inside.
Lt. James Hogan and firefighter Stanley Stone jumped over the burned-out steps to the second floor and ran to the smoke-filled third floor; other firefighters were still dousing the basement and lower floors.
Stone found an unconscious 2-year-old boy, grabbed him and he and Hogan rushed back downstairs. Hogan fell through the hole in the stairs. Stone got outside with the toddler.
Firefighters working the hoses pulled Hogan out of the hole and he ran to assist firefighters doing CPR on the toddler. The second rescue squad arrived on East 66th Street and Hogan and Stone ran the boy to it. Hogan, also a paramedic, hopped into the squad and helped resuscitate the boy on the way to MetroHealth Medical Center..."
"The actions ... at this scene were decisive, thoughtful and quickly performed," Battalion Chief Heil wrote in a report to the fire chief and public safety director. "Efforts were coordinated almost without discourse in the pursuit of saving these children.
"Their decisiveness and disregard for their own safety is an example of what firefighters aspire to as an ideal in our profession."
Firefighters said they found no furniture, other than a few mattresses on the floor.
A child may have started the fire in the basement. The investigation is not complete.