Boy begins rescue; police officer finishes it
BAKER — A police officer carried a paraplegic man from a burning home Friday afternoon, completing a rescue attempt begun by the man’s 13-year-old stepson, Baker Fire Department spokesman Howard Ward said.
No one was injured in the blaze, which broke out about 1:30 p.m. at 5102 Tristian Ave., off McHugh Road.
A woman who uses a wheelchair was also evacuated from the house next door, which appeared to have minor damage as a result of the blaze.
Jacorie Phillips, a student at Crestworth Learning Academy, said he and a younger brother had been at the home for about five minutes when they saw smoke and found that the carport area was on fire.
The boy said he pulled his stepfather, Curtis Watson, from his bed and was trying to get him out of the front door after he spotted the fire.
Ward said the boy was doing his best to pull the man out of the house when police Sgt. Keon Washington arrived and found the front door open.
Washington went inside the smoke-filled living room, picked up the man and carried him outside, where he was examined by firefighters and East Baton Rouge Parish Emergency Medical Services paramedics.
“He said he did what he had to do, but he has a greater appreciation for his firefighting brothers,” Ward said of Washington’s heroism.
Ward said the fire began in a utility room, which was destroyed, and spread to the carport and attic above the carport, causing heavy damage to the home.
The department’s investigator believes the fire originated from a gas water heater, but the investigation remains open, Ward said.
The Zachary Fire Department also responded to the fire.