An Indiana man is being hailed as a hero for saving five people, including four children, from a raging house fire.
Around 12:30 a.m. on Monday, Nick Bostic was driving home and noticed that a house was on fire. He immediately pulled into the driveway and ran to the back of the home.
Bostic told WXIN, "I saw the fire on the balcony so I slammed on the brakes, pulled in the driveway, and ran into the house from the back. I was hollering ‘Is there anybody in there?’"
Bostic busted into the burning home. The 25-year-old Lafayette man helped three children – as young as 2 years old – and their 18-year-old sister escape the inferno. However, the group told him that there was still a 6-year-old child trapped in the smoldering home.
The fire had grown in size, and the smoke made it difficult to see and breathe.
"The smoke just came out of nowhere. It was pitch black, pitch black. The heat was excruciating," Bostic explained.
Emergency personnel said they couldn't enter the blazing home because of the "intensity of the fire."
"Nicholas wrapped his shirt around his mouth and nose and plunged into the blackness," the city of Lafayette said in a statement. "He described it as so black that he couldn’t see anything in front of him, and the heat from the fire made it seem as if he was walking into an oven."
He was able to locate the 6-year-old girl, but the only exit available was through a window on the second floor.
"I grabbed her and held her snug and I ran up those stairs like a running back for the Colts. I jumped out that window," Bostic said. “I was just pushing time on its edge. I was pushing its limit, literally pushed its limit to the last millisecond. I just got lucky."
Bostic broke the window by punching the glass with his bare hands.
Dramatic police bodycam video shows the moment that Bostic emerged from the daunting scene carrying the child away from the blaze.
Lafayette body camera footage of fire rescue www.youtube.com
Bodycam footage shows an officer tending to Bostic's injuries, including applying a tourniquet to stop the bleeding.
Bostic asks emergency personnel, "Is the baby OK? Please tell me that baby's OK."
Police noted that the 6-year-old was "miraculously mostly uninjured."
Bostic was seriously injured in the frantic rescue, suffering from severe smoke inhalation, burns, and cuts on his arms and legs. Bostic was flown to a hospital in Indianapolis. Bostic has since been released after several days of treatment.
"The front of my hand, it's cut up pretty bad," Bostic said. "They rewrapped it before I left. But I got a cut right here, a possible severed tendon. The bottom of my hands are blistered like I grabbed something hot. I recall seeing flames through the window as I was punching it out."
Bostic was recognized for his heroic actions by the Lafayette Police Department, the Lafayette Fire Department, and Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski.
“Nicholas Bostic’s heroic actions saved lives. His selflessness during this incident is inspiring, and he has impressed many with his courage, tenacity, and steadfast calmness in the face of such perilous danger,” the city of Lafayette said in a statement.
The fire was ruled accidental, but is still under investigation.
Lafayette man rescues 5 people from burning home www.youtube.com