Firefighters save toddler from second floor of burning Chesapeake home


CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — A child was rescued by firefighters from the second floor of a burning Chesapeake home early Thursday morning.

Firefighters used a ladder to safely evacuate the 18-month old, who family members said was trapped as smoke came from the second floor.

Two other people, one of them a child, also jumped from the second floor to avoid the flames.

Their neighbor, Charles Kratz, says he was the one to catch the child.

“He was terrified and wanted to come down,” he said.

Kratz says he was woken up by his girlfriend and barking dog when the fire broke out.

“So, I came running down the stairs. I guess she had looked out the window and saw the neighbor’s kid on the roof. She said ‘Babe! The kid’s about to jump! Go out there!’ So, I ran out there not knowing what to expect,” Kratz said.

Once outside, he saw the child standing on the ledge. Kratz says the child jumped and he caught him.

Four of five family members were taken to the hospital with non life-threatening injuries after escaping the home, firefighters say.

Kratz says its fortunate that no one got seriously injured and has much more respect for first responders.

“I pride myself on being a logical-thinking person and I was terrified,” he said about the situation. “I didn’t know what to do. My instincts kicked in.”

Chesapeake fire officials say they received the call around 4:08 a.m. for the fire in the 1700 block of Atlantic Avenue. It was under control at 4:19 a.m. and contained to the second floor, firefighters say.

There are no other details, but firefighters say case is under investigation. Stay tuned to for the latest updates.

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