Human Interest

Heroic 14-year-old girl saves baby from house fire

A 14-year-old girl is being praised as a hero after she saved a baby from a sudden house fire.

The Wenatchee World reported that Fernanda Santos was asleep in her bedroom, with two other children sleeping as well. A fire broke out in the home’s laundry room, which connects through a door into the bedroom.

Nineteen people were living in the home at the time – 12 children and seven adults – and some escaped by climbing onto the roof and then escaping to the ground below. But Santos found herself trapped. She couldn’t get through her bedroom door, as debris from the fire was blocking it, and the fire kept other family members from getting to the room as well. So Santos took action.

She closed a second door to create an additional barrier between the girls and the fire, and then wrapped the baby in a blanket. Then, using her foot, she broke the window and handed the baby out to people waiting below. “I was scared for my sisters,” Santos said in Spanish.

One family member, Esdeyne Andrade, said there had been a space heater plugged into an outlet in the laundry room, and firefighters also found an extension cord running underneath a door. Four smoke alarms in the home were reportedly non-operational.

“One of the strongest potential causes we’re looking at is an extension cord running across the floor,” Fire Chief Brian Brett said. “Whenever you run a cord across the floor it can get stepped on or worn by doors opening and closing on it and that damages the cord. Damaged extension cords can develop series or parallel arcing, and that arcing easily causes sufficient temperatures to ignite combustible materials.”

Thankfully, there wasn’t much damage to the home, which firefighters said can be saved. And even more importantly, no one was injured — in part due to Santos’ quick thinking.

As Brett told Source ONE News, “She saved the baby’s life because they slept with the door closed and she checked the door handle before opening it to the room where the fire was.”

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