1-year-old dies in Alex City apartment fire

Posted by Bryan Henry  -  bio | email

ALEX CITY, AL (WSFA) - Johncrecius Thomas did not hesitate to lend a hand when he heard his neighbor's apartment was on fire Sunday night.

It happened on the north side of Alex City on Booker Street.

"I ran to the door," said Thomas.

And help he did. Thomas climbed up a wrought iron support pole to the second floor window and pulled out a 6-year old boy.

"I saw him go back in and I guess he went to check on his brother but I just snatched him out of the window," said Thomas.

Watching it all unfold was Thomas' mother Laurel Lewis.

"He pushed the curtains out of the way and grabbed him by the ankles," Lewis recalled.

Adding more drama to the rescue was the fact neighbors say the  mother of the four children was pregnant with twins and she reportedly jumped from a second story window.

"I wish I could have done more," said Thomas.

Thomas says his biggest regret was not being able to save the year-old boy.

The flames were too much, the smoke overwhelming.

Three fires in a span of 7 hours, the most in recent memory, according to the Alex City Fire Department.

"That's extremely rare," said Alex City Fire Marshal Craig Clark.

Firefighters responded to a second call, a burning home on Wind Creek Road and a third call a few miles away on Dean Road.

CLark says there is no evidence the fires are connected but no word on how they started.

The fire department declined to identify the family and the one-year old and neighbors say they really don't know the family that well.

WSFA 12 News has learned though one child is in critical condition, another is stable.

A long and weary night for Alex City firefighters and Johncrecius Thomas. One life lost, others saved.

This is Alex City's first fire fatality for 2011.

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