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Boy rescued from house fire

Photo by J.D. Sumner

Photo by J.D. Sumner

ALBANY-- A small boy was rescued by a neighbor Monday morning when his home on the 300 block of Seventh Avenue caught fire.

According to fire officials, a father and his 5-year-old son were inside their house when fire quickly engulfed the structure.

Elguen Williams, 28, discovered the fire around 10 a.m. and ushered his son, known only as Elijah, out of the house while Williams apparently tried to put out the flames by himself.

Deborah Baggett, who works across the street from the Williams home at Baggett's Custom Cabinets, said she first noticed the fire after one of her co-workers mentioned the smoke and flames coming from the house.

"The first thing I could think about (when I saw the house) was that it was going to blow," she said.

While staring at the house, Baggett said she noticed a small boy curled up in a ball in a chair on the front porch.

"I went toward him and kept saying 'Come here, baby,' but he wouldn't come to me," she said. "Everything starting cracking, and the windows were busting out. All I could think about was that this boy was going to be hurt."

In a desperate move, Baggett said she managed to pick up the small boy and carry him to safety before the flames erupted onto the porch.

"A second later the chair that he was sitting on was in flames," she said. "He was so scared, all he could say was that his toys were getting burned up."

Baggett said her husband called the Albany Fire Department, which arrived moments later.

"The fire was put under control about 10:25 a.m.," said Battalion Chief Keith Ambrose.

He said both father and son were able to make it out of the house safely with no injuries.

The fire that engulfed the home was believed to have begun by accident when a trash can that was too close to a space heater caught fire, said Ambrose.

"The fire caused about $25,000 worth of damage," he said.

Baggett said she doesn't feel any braver for rescuing Elijah.

"You don't really think about anything when something like that happens," she said. "You aren't trying to be brave, you just react."

The fire forced traffic to be re-routed around portions of Seventh Avenue between North Jefferson Street and North Jackson Street.