Firefighter Rescues Boy, 8, Trapped Inside Burning Citrus Heights Apartment

CITRUS HEIGHTS (CBS13) – A Citrus Heights apartment went up in flames and firefighters rushed to save an eight-year-old boy trapped inside. The boy is recovering after he and his parents were rescued from the burning apartment Friday morning

The boy is recovering after he and his parents were rescued from the burning apartment Friday morning.

Around 12:30 a.m., residents on the 7600 block of Greenback Lane were woken up in the most frightening way.

“My god we were scared to death. I opened my door, and it was black in my apartment and I screamed get out get out,” says neighbor Richelle Kellen.

The apartment was on the second floor. Officer David Moranz of the Citrus Heights Police Department and two of his fellow officers were first on scene. After learning that an eight-year-old boy was trapped inside they tried to make their way in but had to make a split-second decision.

“With a small child inside there we wanted to go in. The whole front of the unit, the kitchen and living room, were fully engulfed in flames. We just couldn’t get through the door with the heat and debris,” says Moranz.

As Sacramento Metro Fire arrived and took over, the boy’s parents frantically searched for their son. At one point they ran into him, but lost him in the heavy smoke. They eventually had to evacuate and made their way down from the second story balcony. Two other neighbors also had to be rescued.

“Ultimately we put ladders to the building and moved the people who were trapped in an adjoining unit,” says Fire Captain Colin Swarthout.

Fire captain Joshua Leonard says all he could think about was finding the child. Making his way through the fire, Leonard eventually found the boy.

“When I picked him up he was completely limp so I knew he was wasn’t responsive,” Leonard says. “I couldn’t feel him breathing as I was carrying him.”

Leonard says the child’s location in the house was like a miracle corner tucked away from the flames.

“He was on the floor next to his bed, the doors were closed and so all there was was smoke in the room. He wasn’t exposed to all the high heat,” says Leonard.

Carrying the boy out, time wasn’t on the child’s side

“As fast as I could get him to an ambulance and get them out of there I grabbed him and ran,” says Leonard.

A medic with Sac Metro Fire, Matt Carlson, took the child at that point.

“We wanted to make sure we secured that airway quickly and made sure we got him to the hospital quickly.”

And they did and the boy is alive because of it.

While it may seem like just another day in the life of these firefighters, they say they couldn’t be more happy with the outcome.

“When you’re able to affect a life like these men did this morning that’s what they signed up for, and ultimately they made a huge impact, ” said Captain Swarthout.

Little Landon did undergo surgery for some burns he sustained. He is being treated at UC Davis Medical Center along with his parents.

More from Shirin Rajaee
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