KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A five-year-old boy is in critical condition with severe smoke inhalation after he was trapped in a burning home near the intersection of 72nd and Highland Street Monday evening. Firefighters told FOX 4 the boy's great-grandmother was cooking when the fire started and she tried to put it out herself. Firefighters say the boy was found in a back room with the door shut, clutching onto his dog.
The boy was rushed to the hospital, and although he didn't suffer any burns, he was overcome with smoke and critically injured from it. Firefighters tried to revive the boy's dog, but could not.
At the scene of the fire, Battalion Chief Jimmy Walker said the grandmother tried to fight the fire herself but "it grew too big."
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. No firefighters were harmed by the flying bullets.
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.
Chief Walker said he didn't see any burns on the child. He said the boy left the scene breathing and with a pulse.
*Firefighters initially reported the boy is four-years old, but family says he is five-years old.