- November 13, 2014
OAKLAND -- Orange County Fire Rescue released a statement June 17 to commend efforts of two boys -- Isaiah Francis, 10, and Jeremiah Grimes, 11 -- who called 911 to report a fire the morning of June 16 at the Lake Johns Motel Efficiency, along West Colonial Drive in Oakland, according to reports.
The children reported that the back building of the complex -- next to the one in which they had been playing video games -- was on fire, saying the whole thing looked black on the inside and that they thought everyone was out of the building.
They failed to mention during their call that they already had rescued two babies from the burning building.
“What these children did is an exceptional act of bravery, and their families should be very proud,” said Orange County Fire Chief Otto Drozd III. “They called 911 so our firefighters could immediately respond to the emergency. Furthermore, two children were safely rescued from the residence as a direct result of their actions. Although we never advise entering a building on fire, we must recognize the courage it took for those kids to risk their own lives to save the lives of others.”
When Orange County Fire Rescue crews arrived at about 11:30 a.m., a man and two children were safe outside the building, according to reports. Firefighters quickly searched the structure, of which 75 percent was in flames, and removed two other children, who were not responding. Officials transported those two children to South Lake Hospital in Clermont before a transfer to Arnold Palmer Hospital in Orlando, one by ground transport and one by helicopter. There is no update on their condition at this time.
The two babies, Francis and Grimes are all right and were not hospitalized, said Kat Kennedy, Orange County Fire Rescue public information officer.
The man was in the building at the time of the flame, but his identity, what happened to him and what started the fire remain unclear. Winter Garden Police Department and the state fire marshal are investigating this situation.
Orange County Fire Rescue staff is collaborating with some community partners and Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs to formally recognize the actions of Francis and Grimes, Kennedy said.
Contact Zak Kerr at [email protected]