Updated: Oct 25, 2019
20-year-old Derrick Byrd is a hero. In an interview he said, “I’d do it again, even if I died.”
On morning of July 4th, Derrick awoke to a loud boom and his sister’s screams. Realizing the house was on fire, he sprang into action. He kicked in his sister’s bedroom door, then ran downstairs through flames so he could catch the children as his sister helped them jump from the upstairs window. Derrick safely caught Junior, 6, and Rory, 3, before Kayla herself fell off the roof. The third child, eight-year-old Mercedes, fell back into the room and screamed Derrick’s name as the house continued to burn.
Derrick then ran back into the flames and up the stairs to rescue Mercedes. After making sure his sister and her children were safe, Derrick banged on the neighbor’s door to alert them to the blaze and then, fueled by adrenalin, ran ten blocks to his mother’s house to get a ride to the hospital. By the time firefighting crews arrived on the scene, everyone in the home had survived the blaze, thanks to Derrick and Kayla’s quick and decisive actions.