As a couple scrambled to get their children out of their burning house, they realized their baby girl was still in her crib in an area they couldn’t reach. In an act of true desperation, the dad made the decision to send his 7-year-old foster son back inside to save the little girl.
Firefighters often battle extreme temperatures, blinding smoke, and structures that could give way at any moment. These brave men and women undergo extensive training and preparation in order to summon the will to run into burning buildings while everyone else is running out.
Incredibly, a 7-year-old child managed to stir up the same courage, regarding the life of another above his own, when his foster father sent him back into their burning house. Chris and Nicole Davidson thought it was a night like any other when they fed their three children dinner and tucked them all into bed. Just hours after the family had fallen asleep, they were awakened by a living nightmare.
Nicole says she woke to the smell of smoke and leaped out of bed, she told CNN. To her horror, the house was on fire, and it would be mere minutes before the whole home was engulfed in flames. Fearing for her children, she woke her husband and the couple raced to first get their boys — 2-year-old Elijah and 7-year-old Eli.
“He grabbed the fire extinguisher trying to buy me time to get the kids, and I grabbed the boys because they were closest to the fire,” Nicole Davidson recalled.
The pair rushed the children outside, dodging the flames as they poured onto the lawn. Their boys were now safe, but their 22-month-old daughter was still inside. Chris looked for an alternate point of entry since the fire in the living room prevented him from going through the door. His only chance at saving his daughter was through her bedroom window, but it was much too high for him to crawl through.
That’s when the desperate dad made a very tough call. Chris broke the glass and cleared it so that Eli could enter, WVLT reported. And, thankfully, the 7-year-old stepped up to the frightening challenge.
“The smoke and fire was so thick there was no way I could get to her,” Chris Davidson told CNN. “We went outside to get to her from the window, but there was nothing for me to stand on to reach up there. So I picked up Eli, who went through the window and was able to grab her from her crib.”
At first, the little boy was understandably scared to go back into the house, most of which was on fire at this point. However, as soon as he remembered why he needed to go inside, nothing could stop him. Seconds after climbing through the window, Eli emerged with 22-month-old Erin in his arms. He then handed her through the window to Chris.
“Dad busted the window and then I said, ‘I can’t do it,’ like two times, and then I said, ‘I got her dad.’ And when we went down there I said, ‘I was scared but I didn’t want my sister to die,’” Eli recalled.
By the time firefighters arrived on the scene, the house was already completely engulfed in flames. When the fire was quenched, there was nothing left of the structure.
“We lost everything that we have ever had,” Chris said. “Our entire lives were in that home. Our three cars were also damaged in the fire. It’s devastating. We have nothing. You have never been as humble as you are when you don’t even have your own underwear to wear.”
A friend set up a Go Fund Me to raise money for the destitute family. At the time of the fire, Chris and Nicole had fostered 34 children, including Eli, and had adopted Erin and Elijah. Following the traumatic ordeal, they were starting over “from scratch.”
More than $369,000 was donated to help Chris Nicole Davidson start over. The family is grateful, but no amount of money could ever compare to having their children safe and sound.
At just 7 years of age, Eli mustered up more courage than most grown adults, willingly putting his life at risk in order to save the life of another. Such is the love of a good brother.