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Firefighters receive awards for rescuing toddler from burning home

Posted at 8:14 PM, Aug 04, 2020

CHESAPEAKE, Va. - News 3 is honored to be the media sponsor for the 2020 Valor Awards.

The Hampton Roads Chamber produces this event to honor first responders who have gone beyond the call of duty during the past 12 months.

Will be sharing these stories of heroics all week.

Tuesday's story is for a lifesaving award.

Just before dawn on February 20, Chesapeake Fire Crews were called out to a house fire on Atlantic Avenue.

They arrived to find the two-story home ablaze and filling with thick smoke. Several family members had escaped, but an 18-month-old toddler was trapped on the second floor.

“As we’re leaving the door, we hear the dispatch saying they’re possibly people inside. People were jumping from the second story windows," Chesapeake firefighter Andrew Mason said.

The notification that there’s persons trapped takes it from this level to the next level, Fire Chief Edmund Elliot explained.

“I just know I want to get to the kids as fast as possible I didn’t know if that was going right of the stairs or we’re going up the ladder. There was a police officer walking around the first floor," Mason said. “He said, 'The fire’s right at the top of the stairs. 'I could tell that’s where the seat of the fire was. There was only one way to get the child out. It’s going to have to be a ladder rescue.”

“I got on the ladder went up to the kid. She looked a little scared; she wasn’t crying. She had some soot on her face. She was just kind of propped up on the windowsill. So, [I] grab the kid. She came with me easily. I handed her off to the other jump seat firefighter. He ran the kid to the ambulance to get checked out," Mason said.

Chief Elliot proudly said, “We have confidence in our teams out there. They go out there to get the job done and this is just an example of what they do on a frequent basis.”