Balch Springs officers rescue boy trapped in burning apartment
BALCH SPRINGS, Texas - Officers with the Balch Springs Police Department helped saved an 8-year-old boy and his mom after their apartment was set on fire.
The fire burned an apartment complex on Quail Drive early Monday morning. Officers Tyler Gross, Corey Jones and David Fields got there before firefighters arrived.
Body camera video shows the three officers helping to alert neighbors. That’s when they discovered a boy and his mom were trapped on a second-floor apartment.
Keisha Sowels and her 8-year-old son, Kingston, found themselves trapped inside their apartment. She says they couldn’t go through the front door because of the fire. She quickly figured out the window was her only escape, but she couldn’t open it.
The video shows one of the officers trying to get into the apartment through the front door as well, but he was forced to back away because of the smoke.
Officer Jones then yelled at Keisha and Kingston through a window, telling them to kick out the glass. The young boy can be heard crying for help and telling the officers that he was scared.
Officer Jones was able to throw his baton at the window to break it. He and the other officers then encouraged Kingston to jump.
“He was just scared. I think anybody would be with flames behind them and a jump before them,” Jones said. “He knew that we were down there, and we’re going to catch him. He didn’t think twice and jumped out the window.”
The three officers were able to safely catch Kingston.
“You okay? Your mom’s coming,” Jones reassured Kingston. “Alright, we’re good, buddy. Hey, that was a good jump, man. That was a good jump.”
The fire department rolled up as Keisha prepared to jump. They used a ladder to get her to safety. Officer Jones took them to his car so they wouldn't have to sit out in the cold.
“They made me feel like I was a human,” Keisha said.
Emotional speechless at times, Keisha met the three officers who saved her and her child Wednesday afternoon.
“I just think God that they took the time to do what they were called to do as officers and firefighters. I really appreciate it. I am totally grateful,” she said. “I thank you very much! Thank you very much. Y’all are definitely angels in my eyes, and I really appreciate it and I am grateful for the rest of my life.”
“We got this job for one thing only, and that’s to help people,” Gross said. “I just Thank God every day that we’re able to do this job at this point time and we were there to help these people.”
Police said even though no one was seriously hurt, several apartments were damaged by the fire. The fire is considered “suspicious,” based on what witnesses told investigators it may take several days to find out exactly what caused it.
The Balch Springs Police Department is asking the public to make donations to their Santa Cop program so they can help the nearly a dozen people who have lost everything as a result of the fire.