LEE’S SUMMIT, MO. — A Lee’s Summit girl got the chance to meet the heroes who saved her life in a frightening house fire.
The 10-year-old girl, Journey McAfee is out of the hospital. She and her family met a few of the people who helped save her life.
An electrical outlet in the kitchen sparked a fire that ravaged through a Lee’s Summit home.
Jerica McAfee smelled something funny and saw smoke. She grabbed her dog and got out.
“It was really really, really terrifying,” McAfee said.
The 20-year-old thought she was home alone, but her little sister didn’t have school and was still inside.
“Right after I called in, she called in and said she was trapped in the house,” McAfee said.
Thanks to what she learned in the classroom, Journey McAfee knew to call 911.
Dispatchers told her to get low and cover her mouth.
Journey lost consciousness and was struggling to breathe, but emergency crews were on the way.
“Once crews entered the building they had heavy fire conditions. They were able to knock down the fire that was going down the hallway toward the bedrooms,” Lee’s Summit Assistant Fire Chief Eden said.
Behind a closed door, with zero visibility, firefighters found Journey and carried her to an ambulance.
“I’m like broken down, crying on the street, just screaming for someone to get her out,” Jerica said.
Journey spent two days in intensive care. At times it looked bleak, but her mom, Jennifer DeFluiter, never gave up hope.
She said they would not be here together without this team.
With Barry the Bear in hand, Journey got to meet some of her heroes in person.
“Highly appreciative of everybody, so grateful and thankful,” DeFluiter said.
“I got him from the school when I was in the hospital,” Journey said. “I want to say thank you for helping me and that’s it.”
A few familiar voices at the police department.
“That’s a thankless job back there, 12 hour shifts, high stress,” Sgt. Chris Depue said. “It reinforces why they do what they do, and they’re good at it.”
“An outcome like this, it doesn’t always happen and you count your blessings when it does,” Eden said.
The family is staying in a temporary home right now. They are taking it day by day.
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