STRUTHERS, Ohio (WKBN) – A Struthers mother ran inside of her burning home Friday afternoon to save her infant son. Now both of them are hospitalized after being badly burned.
The house is in the 300 block of Sexton Street, directly across Maplecrest Nursing Home.
Shortly after 4 p.m., smoke poured from the second floor. Art Sims, an Ohio Edison worker, told a woman in the garage her house was on fire.
At first, Sims said, the woman didn’t believe him but after a short time, she also noticed the smoke and yelled she had a baby inside.
“As I start walking up on the porch, I see the flames coming through the kitchen, so I back up some,” Sims said. “I’m on the phone with 911, she comes around the house with the baby in her arms, really hysterical, crying.”
Sims said he thinks the woman jumped out of a window with the baby because there was no door on the second floor for her to get outside.
Brad Miller, who was driving by, saw the woman as well.
“She was screaming for help,” he said. “The baby looked to be unconscious but very light breathing, just wincing. Severe burns.”
One neighbor said the baby is 4 months old.
The family is Hispanic and the mother speaks little English.
Ashley Martinez, who lives nearby, was also there when the fire started.
“She just came and ran over to me, and she had her baby in her hands and he was just completely burned, and she just kept crying, screaming his name,” she said.
Sims said he was glad he showed up when he did.
“A couple more minutes and the baby might not have made it out.”
Martinez took the mother to the hospital. She found out the baby had been flown to Akron Children’s Hospital in Akron.
She doesn’t know how the mother is doing now.
“I just know that she ran into the house,” Martinez said. “Her hands were burned, her hair was singed and she did everything she needed to do, go in and save her son.”
Firefighters had to ask for help from Campbell, Poland and Western Reserve Fire District crews after the fire got in between the attic and the roof, and was smoking heavily.
Shortly after 5 p.m., the fire was under control.
Mayor-elect Cat Cercone Miller was on the scene as well, praising Struthers firefighters for the job they did.
“These are not only our husbands, our friends, our fathers — they’re our firemen,” she said. “Couldn’t be more thankful that they’re the ones protecting our city because the response time was unreal.”
Fire Chief Bill Simcox does not know how the fire started. He called in an arson investigation team to help with finding out what caused the fire. Simcox said he does not suspect arson, he just wants help figuring out what happened.
The fire hydrant right across the street from the house was out of commission and covered with a plastic bag. Crews had to get water from their trucks and a hydrant down the road. Still, Simcox said getting water on the fire was not an issue.
As of Sunday, a friend of the family tells First News, the child has second and third degree burns on 33% of his body. There is no lung damage and he is breathing on his own. He will receive skin grafts starting Monday.