Uncle Runs Into Inferno To Search For Trapped 8-Year-Old Niece

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After helping his young nephews escape a raging house fire through a window, a loving uncle realized his niece was nowhere in sight. Without hesitation, he charged back into the inferno when he heard an unmistakable sound.

Derrick Byrd rushed back into a burning house to save his 8-year-old niece. (Photo Credit: Provided)

Most people like to think that they would be brave enough to put themselves in danger to save a loved one. However, when it comes to facing one of the most horrific deaths imaginable, few could muster the courage to face such a scenario without fear — but that’s precisely what Derrick Byrd did.

A family was awakened in the early morning hours to flames consuming their home in Aberdeen, Washington. The young mother, Kayla, desperately tried in vain to get her three young children out of the blaze before it was too late. Luckily, she had an angel on her side.

Derrick Byrd
Derrick Byrd, 20, first caught his 2 nephews as they jumped from the second-story window. (Photo Credit: Facebook)

Her 20-year-old brother, Derrick Byrd, had been asleep when the fire started. As soon as he realized that the house was on fire, he ran outside to the children’s bedroom window, which was located on the second story of the home, according to KOMO News. He called to the little ones, urging them to jump.

He managed to convince his terrified nephews, Junior and Rory, to take a leap of faith, catching each of them and setting them on the lawn. However, his 8-year-old niece, Mercedes, was too afraid. Kayla tried to persuade her little girl to jump, but she slipped and fell off the roof before she could help her daughter.

“Kayla wanted to get the kids out so I ran downstairs even though I got burnt,” he said. “[I] started catching the kids. I caught Junior and I caught Baby Rory out of Kayla’s window.”

When 8-year-old Mercedes was too terrified to make the jump, Derrick Byrd rushed back inside the blazing inferno to rescue her. (Photo Credit: Provided)

At first, one of the other male residents tried to go upstairs to rescue Mercedes, but he couldn’t get through the flames, KIRO 7 reports. Then, Derrick made a critical decision. Without a second thought, the courageous uncle dashed back inside the house, sprinting through the melting interior to rescue his niece.

“She was screaming my name,” said Byrd. “So I wasn’t just going to let her sit there. I wasn’t going to let my niece die. And I just ran up the stairs and pushed through the fire.”

Derrick had inhaled smoke and was already severely burned when he located Mercedes upstairs. Still, he was concerned only for her well-being, willing to sacrifice his body and even his life for her. Miraculously, Derrick carried the little girl down the stairs and through the fiery maze of debris to safety.

“I could feel it burning me. I got her and took my shirt off and put it around her face so she wouldn’t breathe in any smoke and I just carried her out as fast as I could,” he said.

Derrick Byrd sustained severe burns but managed to save his niece, wrapping his own shirt around her face to prevent her from inhaling smoke. (Photo Credit: Screenshot)

Tragically, the house and everything inside were totally destroyed. However, thanks to Derrick, not one soul was lost to the devastating fire.

“I can’t say a hero. I’d just say for my niece and nephews, I wasn’t going to let them die. I’d do it again,” he said. “I really would. I don’t care. I really would. I’d run back in there and do it again even if I got burnt worse or died.”

Despite his humble dismissal, the community has hailed Derrick a hero. The fire department confirmed that if it had not been for his quick thinking and selflessness, Mercedes would have died within minutes.

Derrick Byrd
Derrick Byrd refused to call himself a hero and said he would do it all again even if it means dying for the children. (Photo Credit: Twitter)

Investigators determined the fire started on the second floor. The cost of the damage was estimated at nearly $300,000. Thankfully, the community rallied together to provide the family with food, clothing, and toys.

Although Derrick Byrd vehemently denies that he is a hero, he placed his life on the line without hesitation, receiving horrific burns to his body in order to save his niece, and that’s exactly what a hero would do.