KNOXVILLE FIREFIGHTER CATCHES BABY

KNOXVILLE FIREFIGHTER CATCHES BABY THROWN OUT OF BURNING APARTMENT

KFD crews rescued an infant and others from a burning apartment building in East Knoxville Sunday morning.

Shortly before 8 a.m. Sunday, crews responded to the fire at 2730 Magnolia Ave. at an apartment complex called “The Bricks.”

Senior firefighter Bo Merritt was monitoring the outside of the building when he saw a family holding their baby out a second story window. Merritt told one-month-old Josiah’s father that if he threw the baby, he’d catch him. The father listened, and Josiah made it down to Merritt safely.

“I wasn’t really nervous in the moment because it happened so fast,” said Merritt. “After the fact, when I thought about what happened and what could’ve happened … it was emotional. By far the scariest thing I’ve ever done.”

Merritt said it was a “spur of the moment” decision to call out to the baby’s parents and catch the infant.

“We’re not trained to do that in any way,” he said.

KFD Capt. D.J. Corcoran says the fire appears to have started in the rear stairwell of the four-story building, causing thick, dark smoke to spread throughout.

Corcoran says fire crews were able to rescue several other residents by bringing them down ladders.

Two residents were transported to local hospitals with smoke inhalation and an injured ankle. No other injuries have been reported.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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