Boy Hailed As Hero In House Fire

4 Children Seriously Injured In Fire

A boy was hailed as a hero Tuesday morning for helping save three other boys and himself from a house fire on Indianapolis' south side.

The fire began at a home in the 700 block of Cottage Avenue, between East Street and Interstate 65, at about 5:45 a.m.

Indianapolis fire Capt. Rita Reith said a 14-year-old boy who was babysitting awoke to the burning home, rushed into living room, where the other children were sleeping, and got them out of the house.

The boy was able to get an 8-year-old boy out of a window in the burning home before he jumped out the window himself.

The boy then went back inside the home to get a 3-year-old boy out. Firefighters arrived and were able to get a 7-year-old boy out.

The victims were taken to Riley Hospital for Children suffering from burns, smoke inhalation and cuts.

The 3-and 7-year-old boys were in critical condition and the 8-and 14-year-old boys were in serious condition, also suffering from lacerations caused by broken glass, Reith said.

The 14-year-old boy's actions were heroic, Reith said, and likely saved the children's lives.

"We don't encourage people to enter a burning structure, by any means," Reith said. "They boy was very, very brave to do this."

In the midst of the fire, the 14-year-old boy also went to his mother's home nearby and told her to call 911.

"He said he did what he had to do," Reith said. "I'm telling you, this kid was amazing."

Richard Holliday, the father of three of the children, had left for work at about 5 a.m. There were no working smoke detectors in the home, Reith said, and space heaters had been used to heat the home, but Holliday said they were turned off.

"I'm taking it pretty rough right now. I got my three boys, and it's all I got," Holliday said. "I just wish the Lord would get them back to how they was."

Neighbor Carol Kimbler watched in horror, fearing the worst.

"It was terrifying. I was afraid it was going to explode, and I knew there was at least three children in there because I see them all the time," Kimbler said. "I didn't know about the 14-year-old being there. It was just terror."

The 14-year-old boy is expected to be released later Tuesday

The house was destroyed, and a neighboring home was damaged.

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