KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A four-year-old boy is in critical condition at Children's Mercy Hospital after firefighters rescued him from a burning home around 5 p.m. Monday evening. It happened near the intersection of 72nd and Highland Street. Firefighters told FOX 4 the boy's great-grandmother was cooking when the fire started and she tried to put it out herself, initially.
"She tried to fight the fire and it grew too big she said," said KCFD Battalion Chief Jimmy Walker.
Ammunition in the house heated up and started to explode, making for an even more difficult rescue. Neighbors tried to run in the home and save the little boy before first responders arrived.
"We tried to go in and help get him out of there, but bullets were going off inside and it was heavy smoke," one neighbor told FOX 4.
Chief Walker said it was good the neighbors ran back out of the home, or they might have been hurt too.
"It's nice to be a good Samaritan, but don't put yourself in danger in order to help others because all it does it add to our problems," he said. "Instead of trying to rescue one person now we have to rescue two or three or possibly four."
Firefighters said the house has extensive smoke and fire damage, somewhere between $50,000 and $75,000 worth.
The little boy was found in the back bedroom with the door shut. Chief Walker said he didn't see any burns on the child but believes he inhaled a lot of smoke. He said the boy left the scene breathing and with a pulse.
No firefighters were harmed by the flying bullets.