Neighbor rescues 2-year-old boy from fire
UNDATED (NBC) -- A fast-thinking neighbor used a golf club and a teddy bear to rescue a 2-year-old boy from a house fire in Richardson, Texas.
When the blaze broke out in the 2300 block of Shady Creek Drive at about 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, calls poured into 911.
“I see a lot of smoke and a lot of fire,” one woman told emergency operators. “Oh my gosh.”
“The house is on fire, very much on fire,” another woman yelled.
Nicole Hewitt made it out of her house. But in the thick smoke, she was unable to get to her son, London, from his crib on the other side of the house.
"It was just an inferno,” said Nicole’s husband, Jack, who had just left for work. “It’s something you never expect to happen until it does.”
Neighbors raced to help.
"The thought there was a toddler in that room -- that's all you think about,” said Troy Richards, who lives directly behind the Hewitt’s house.
When he learned the toddler was trapped inside, he swung into action -- literally.
"Her daddy's a golfer, so we had golf clubs and smashed through the window,” he said.
Despite the flames and thick smoke, he crawled through the broken window.
"I looked down and there was the baby's teddy bear,” he said. “And I used that to cover my nose and mouth to filter the smoke out so I could stay in longer and found him and brought him out."
At first, he wasn’t breathing.
Neighbors started CPR while waiting for paramedics.
Soon, a 911 caller described the relief: "The mother is holding him now. ... The baby is breathing."
London was rushed to Children’s Medical Center in Dallas, where his father said he is doing well and will probably be released soon.
"He had a little smoke inhalation and he still has a little rough throat going on, but he's doing a lot better,” Jack Hewitt said.
He said he is forever grateful to his neighbor.
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"I would call him nothing short of a hero," he said.
Another neighbor, Milton Cohen, agreed.
"He is a genuine hero,” Cohen said. “It was one of the most heroic things I've ever seen.”
Richardssaid countless other fathers would have done the same thing.
“There’s no time for second thoughts,” he said. “You just go.”
Standing in front of the charred rubble of what was his home, Jack Hewitt said none of the damage mattered.
"It's hard to stand in front of this house and say you're lucky, but I feel pretty lucky right now,” he said.