Two children who were trapped in a burning room in an apartment complex are lucky to be alive after they were saved by a courageous neighbor who braved the fire and smoke to rescue them. The two children are now at the hospital receiving treatment for injuries they suffered as a result of the fire. The girl, 6, suffered burns to her face and hands, while her brother, 5, suffered burns to his ear. The incident occurred about 11:30 this morning in Apartment 4 of a housing complex on Cannondale Avenue in the Lake-I area of the Belize City.
Kenrick Middleton, 38, who resides in Apartment 2 in the said housing complex, told Amandala that about 11:30 this morning, he was in his room resting when he heard someone yell “fire!” He immediately jumped up to see what was happening and he saw a neighbor run to Room 4, from which smoke was coming. The neighbor was trying to rescue the children, but that neighbor was unsuccessful.
Middleton then went into Room 4, and it was dark and smoky, but he followed the sound coming from the children, who were crying in the back end of the room. He grabbed them and was taking them outside when he fell, hitting his knee in the darkness.
Middleton said that although he fell, and suffered burns to his hair, he did not let go of the children, and at the same time, a woman who was also a resident of the apartment complex ran into the house and he handed them over to her.
The kids were taken outside and the ambulance came and took them to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Middleton said that he did not know where he got the strength from, but he believes that God was with him when he went into the burning room.
Middleton said that he thanks God that he was at home because the children would have perished otherwise. He also said that three men who live in the apartment complex ran off and did not want to enter the room, although they could hear the children crying for help.
An irate neighbor said that the mother of the children left them inside the house unattended, and went out. The little boy began playing with matches, she said, which caused the mattress on the bed to catch fire, and from there, the fire spread. The children began to cry for help and the neighbor told her brother-in-law to go in and help them. She said that the entire incident was caused by carelessness on the part of the mother, but admitted that everyone makes mistakes.
The neighbor told us that she is thankful that the ambulance and the fire engine responded quickly. She is also hoping that Hon. Mark King, the Lake Independence area representative, would visit them to see what assistance can be rendered to them.
Everything owned by the family was destroyed, and they are presently requesting assistance.