20-year-old Derrick Byrd did not think twice when he immediately rushed into a burning home to save his 8-year-old niece who was trapped inside.
Even though he managed to rescue his niece just in time before the fire engulfed the whole building, Byrd was left with second- and third-degree burns on his face, back, and arms.
“Even though I got burnt, I really didn’t care, though. I’d rather get burnt than her. She’s young. She’s still got a lot of stuff going for her. She’s a good kid,” Byrd said in an interview with KOMO-TV.
The fire started at their home in Aberdeen, Washington when Byrd and his six other family members including his sister, Kayla and her three children.
Byrd quickly sprung into action as he caught his nephews, Junior and Royce to escape the fire through the window on the second floor.
Unfortunately, his niece, Mercedes was too afraid to jump after the girl saw her mom fell from the roof.
At the time, Byrd rushed back into the burning home to rescue Mercedes and it did not take long before he could feel the flames on his skin.
“I could feel it burning me,” he said.
Luckily, Byrd managed to find Mercedes and rescued her. “I got her and took my shirt off and put it around her face so she wouldn’t breathe in any smoke and I just carried her out as fast as I could.”
The two then escape the house fire just in time but Byrd suffered serious burn injuries following his heroic action.
However, he said that he would do it again if he had to save his niece’s and nephews’ lives.
“I’d run back in there and do it again even if I got burnt worse or died,” Byrd said.
In response to people dubbing him as a hero, Byrd said that he simply did what he had to do.
“I can’t say a hero. I’d just say for my niece and nephews, I wasn’t going to let them die.”
Thank you, Byrd for your selfless act!
Watch his full interview below.