DETROIT – A group of Detroit firefighters and emergency medical technicians was honored Tuesday for saving the lives of two small children.
A fire broke out in March at a home on Ellsworth Street on Detroit's west side. A mother and two children got out, but two others were trapped inside. On Tuesday, officials shared the story of how the other two were rescued.
"There was more smoke than anything," firefighter Eric Jones II said. "There wasn't that much fire, but it was pretty filled up with smoke."
Jones was the first person to go into the home, knowing two children were trapped upstairs.
"The mom was crying and screaming on the sidewalk," Jones said. "I had no other choice but to go up there."
Jamol West was right behind him.
"The key is to stay calm," West said. "I know it sounds cliche, but you've got to stay calm."
"You couldn't see him," Jones said. "I just crawled my way through, felt through everything and I just came across him."
Jones found a little boy who wasn't breathing or moving. Then, West found an infant girl.
"The key was to stay low to the ground and search and feel out for them," West said. "Eventually, we found them."
Neither child appeared to be alive, but Jones and West ran them out and got them to EMT Kirk Dywasuk.
"I'm a father too, myself," Dywasuk said. "Even if I wasn't, you can't help but get a little more welled up when it's a kid. They're new. They're innocent. They need help. By the time we got to the hospital, one was responding much better than initially. The other one, slightly more still not where we wanted him, but it was looking alright for us, at least."
"It's a great privilege to be a part of something like that and to be able to help someone," West said.
"It's the best feeling in the world," Jones said. "This piece of paper is just what it is, but to see them, that they get to see another day, is great."