Albany business owner credited with saving child from fire - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Business owner credited with saving child from fire

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By Jim Wallace - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) – An Albany father and his 5-year-old son woke up to flames in their home Monday morning.

They lost everything except the pajamas they were wearing. But thanks to a neighbor who grabbed the boy and took him to safety, they didn't get hurt.

Debbie Baggett tenderly holds Elijah Williams, and he clings tightly to the woman who saved him when his house was on fire.

She was in her business across 7th Avenue about 10 AM, when an employee shouted fire. She ran out and saw Elijah sitting on the front porch, with his house burning around him.

Baggett said "It was big flames and smoke everywhere, when we first got over here. I was scared he was going to go back in or something before I got to him."

Elgu Williams said he was asleep when Elijah woke him up.

Williams said "All I know, my son yelled fire."

Williams tried to put the fire out, dragging a flaming chair onto the porch, and went back in. Elijah moved to the porch, as the fire spread.

Baggett said "The fire was right there beside him. And that's what scared me, because I was afraid it was going to blow before he got over here to me. So I just ran up and picked him up. Let him come to me. And he hasn't left me since."

Firefighters say a trash can too close to the gas space heater caught fire, and started the blaze. Williams stood shivering in the cold in his pajamas, saying that was all they had left.

Williams said "I had bought everything for Thanksgiving too. Done lost my wallet, everything."

Firefighters say Williams did not call 9-1-1 while he fought the fire, until it was just too far out of control. Putting himself in jeopardy and ultimately causing more damage.

Battalion Chief Matthew Jefferson said "He was trying to extinguish it, and he feels bad about it now, because he delayed calling 9-1-1.

But he says he's thankful that he and his son are unhurt, and to Debbie Baggett.

Baggett said "He's been a little trooper ever since. Been trying to keep him warm. But he won't let go now. They tried to put him in the ambulance, but he said no."

A little boy clinging to the stranger who saved him, after his family loses everything. The American Red Cross is helping the Williams family.

Firefighters warn you, if there's ever a fire in your house, get out and stay out and call 9-1-1 immediately.

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