20-year-old Derrick Byrd is being hailed a hero after he risked his life running into a burning home to save his eight-year-old niece.
Derrick, who live in Washington, suffered second and third-degree burns on his face, back, and arms, having charged into the burning house when he became aware his niece was trapped inside the house.
“Even though I got burnt, I really didn’t care, though. I’d rather get burnt than her. She’s young. She’s still got a lot of stuff going for her. She’s a good kid.” Derrick told KOMO-TV.
The fire at the home in Aberdeen, Washington is believed to have started while Derrick and six other family members were inside, including his sister, Kayla, and her three children.
Derrick’s nephews, Junior and Royce, jumped from a window on the second floor of the house when the fire started and he caught them.
However, his eight-year-old niece, Mercedes, was too afraid to jump after having watched her mom, Kayla, fall from the roof.
Without hesitation Derrick rushed back into the house to rescue his niece.
“I could feel it burning me. I got her and took my shirt off and put it around her face so she wouldn’t breathe in any smoke and I just carried her out as fast as I could.” Derrick explained.
What’s more, even though he sustained painful injuries, Derrick said he would do it again if he had to. “I’d run back in there and do it again even if I got burnt worse or died.”
Commenting on all those dubbing him a hero, he simply replied, “I can’t say a hero. I’d just say for my niece and nephews, I wasn’t going to let them die.”
Derrick truly is a hero, risking his own life to make sure the children were rescued and okay. Now that is a great uncle!
Share this story to pay tribute to a real life hero, and to wish him a speedy recovery.