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2-Year Old Rescued from a Burning Apartment

By Steve Yamamoto | December 6, 2010

Early this morning just before 1:30 am, the Long Beach Fire Department (LBFD) responded to a two-story apartment fire in North Long Beach on the 2600 block of E. 55th Way.  When Engine 11 arrived on scene they saw that the upstairs unit of the apartment was heavily involved with fire and smoke.  Crewmembers were then frantically told by people outside that there was a 2-year old boy still inside of the upstairs room.  Two Firefighters immediately went inside the burning building upstairs with their charged hose and began an aggressive attack of the fire while conducting a search for the little boy.  The first Firefighter headed towards the closest room when he suddenly and unexpectedly fell through the floor from the weakened support member.   Luckily he was able to catch himself with his arms before he fell completely through to the first floor below.  The Firefighter then pulled himself back up out of the hole and continued his search while the other Firefighter knocked down the fire.  Seconds after, he quickly found the boy and discovered him in respiratory arrest.  He immediately picked up the small lifeless body of the child and ran out to the Paramedic Rescue where they began quick treatment and transport to the hospital.  Miraculously the Paramedics were able to resuscitate and revive the child to where he was breathing on his own.      The boy is listed in “Critical”, but “Stable” condition and has been showing signs of improvement.   Injuries suffered by the Firefighter were minor and he was treated on scene and released.  The cause of the fire has been determined by Fire Investigators to originate in a malfunctioning electrical exhaust fan located in the kitchen above the stove.  The accumulation of high heat over many hours caused a deep-seated fire in the ceiling void between the first and second floor that spread throughout the upstairs.  This also created weakened support members that were hidden in the floor and eventually collapsed under the Firefighter’s weight.  There were reports from neighbors that an audible smoke alarm could be heard earlier around 8:30 pm but unfortunately the Fire Department was not notified until much later.  This however brings up the importance and value of working smoke alarms inside of the home and especially at night when most are asleep. Thanks to the valiant efforts of the LBFD, this child was rescued and brought back to life all while protecting the other units and occupants in the complex from the fire.  There were a total of 15 Fire Department Apparatus including LA County Engine 45 on scene with 34 personnel operating on this incident that took place in the 8th Council District.

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