WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — Three Wichita children are safe this holiday season thanks to the quick action of two officers from the Wichita Police Department (WPD).
“We were in the right place at the right time,” said Jerrad Daniels, WPD officer.
Officers Travis Cox and Daniels were on their way to a domestic violence call on E Bayley St Wednesday afternoon, Dec. 21.
“Protocol is you park down the street from the call. You don’t park directly in front of it. So we had parked down the street to the West, got out, and approached on foot,” Daniels explained.
Walking down East Bayley Street, they noticed a 4-year-old boy.
“In a T-shirt standing on the front porch, and he was crying, and I think he said help,” Daniels said.
Temperatures were below freezing that afternoon in Wichita.
The officers rushed to get the boy inside.
“Opened up the door to see if anyone, if a parent happened to be inside or what was going on. Once we opened up the door, just smoke started coming out of the house. So then we knew the house was on fire,” Cox said.
“We could actually hear a baby crying when we opened the door,” Daniels added in.
The two hurried in and found a 3-month-old baby down the hall, a 2-year-old boy on the couch, and a fire in the kitchen.
“I didn’t really think about it at the time because I knew that there was a child that was in distress, and I could tell it was a baby, and I just wanted to get that child out of the residence because the younger you are, smaller your lungs the more smoke you take in, the less time you’re gonna have,” Daniels said.
Police say their mom left her kids home alone to go get Christmas presents.
Later Wichita Fire and EMS told them if it wasn’t for the 4-year-old boy and their quick response, the two kids would have died from smoke inhalation.
“You always want to help someone, somebody that’s in need that needs help, and that’s what these three children needed,” Daniels said.
“That’s why most of us got in this line of work is so we can help people, and that’s why I’m glad we could help these kids,” Cox said.
Officers stressed it is important for parents not to leave their kids home alone.
“Especially when they’re that young. You have to always keep an eye on them because anything can happen. It just takes a split second, and something bad can happen,” Cox said. “You just always have to be very vigilant of where your kids are at and what they’re doing.”