Washington man called hero for running back into burning home to save niece

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ABERDEEN, Wa. — Seven people inside. Three generations of one family. Four of them got hurt.

It was 4 a.m. when flames erupted inside the three-story home. Trapping a mom and her kids upstairs.

“The kids said, ‘fire, fire.’ and I was already dressed,” Brady Cardin said. “I jumped into my boots and ran upstairs. I couldn’t even get to the top of the stairs and the flames were just pouring out that way.”

Several of them managed to jump out of the window.

“I heard kids screaming, a woman screaming, said neighbor Lydia Marano. “It was awful, it was terrible. It’s not something I ever want to hear again.”

But 8-year-old Mercedes wasn’t to be found.

“I went up right after cause they were like, “where’s Mercedes? Everybody out?’ I was the last one out and, ‘oh Mercedes, where is she?'”

Her uncle Derrick Byrd made it out safely. But when he heard that she hadn’t made it out, despite the house was fully engulfed, he went back inside.

“He forced entry back into the residence even though it was fully involved with flames at that time,” Aberdeen Police Lt. CJ Chastain said. “He went upstairs and was able to bring the 8-year-old, he forced entry upstairs and was able to bring her out of the residence and help her to survive it.”

Their mom Kayla Johnson was also burned but she was treated and released.

The grandfather Dave Nelson and his brother Brady were not hurt. They were also able to rescue the cats that were trapped inside.

They don’t believe this was fireworks related. Rather something caught fire on the second floor and it spread quickly completely gutting the house.


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