14-month-old rescued after falling down floor ventilation shaft in family home

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WATERFORD, Conn. – Firefighters saved a baby who tumbled 12 feet down the floor ventilation shaft of a Connecticut family’s home early Tuesday morning.

Fire officials said the baby fell about 12 feet down the ventilation shaft. (Waterford Professional Firefighters association Local 4629)

The 14-month-old child got stuck between the first and second floor of the home, but it’s not clear if the vent was covered when the incident happened.

The child, identified by WVIT as Elijah Irizarry, was gated in when his mother, Kristie Mendes, went to the bathroom and heard a scream.

“It was extremely, extremely scary. He was screaming the whole time,” Mendes said. “He kept looking up trying to reach, but I couldn’t reach him.”

Fire officials said the child fell about 12 feet to a 90-degree elbow in the shaft, but was conscious and alert. Firefighters were able to free the toddler from the vent within an hour.

He suffered some minor injuries but is expected to be fine.

In a Facebook post, Waterford fire officials thanked all the personal involved that were responsible for this positive outcome.


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