ABERDEEN, Wash. (WFLA/CNN) – A 20-year-old Washington man is being called a hero after he ran into a burning home to save his 8-year-old niece, who was trapped inside.
It was 4 a.m. when flames erupted inside the three-story home, trapping a mom and her kids upstairs.
“The kids said, ‘fire, fire.’ and I was already dressed,” said Brady Cardin. “I jumped into my boots and ran upstairs. I couldn’t even got to the top of the stairs and the flames were just pouring out that way.”
Several of them managed to jump out of the window.
“And I heard kids screaming, a woman screaming,” said Lydia Marano. “It was awful, it was terrible. It’s not something I ever want to hear again.”
But they could not find 8-year-old Mercedes.
“I went up right after cause they were like, “Where’s Mercedes? Everybody out?'” Cardin said. “I was the last one out and, ‘oh Mercedes, where is she?'”
Mercedes’ uncle, Derrick Byrd, made it out safely but when he heard she hadn’t made it out he went back inside despite the house being fully engulfed.
“He forced entry back into the residence even though it was fully involved with flames at that time,” said Lieutenant CJ Chastain. “He went upstairs and was able to bring the 8-year-old, he forced entry upstairs and was able to bring her out of the residence and help her to survive it. That’s pretty heroic.”
Their mom Kayla Johnson was also burned but she was treated and released. The grandfather Dave Nellson and his brother Brady were not hurt.
They were also able to rescue the cats that were trapped inside.
Authorities don’t believe this was fireworks related. Rather something caught fire on the second floor and it spread quickly completely gutting the house.