A Washington man is being hailed a hero after saving his niece in a house fire on Thursday.
Derrick Byrd gave an exclusive interview to ABC News affiliate KOMO in the hospital following the rescue.
“I’d do it again, I really would. I don’t care,” Byrd said, lying in his hospital bed with gauze covering his face. “I’d run back in there and do it again even if I got burnt worse or died.”
After a fire broke out in Bryd’s Washington home, Byrd said he rushed to help his sister, Kayla, get all the children out of the second-floor window. He caught two of the three children that were trapped in the house.
But when his 8-year-old niece Mercedes was afraid to jump after her mother fell off of the roof, she fell back into the burning room.
Bryd said he could hear his young niece screaming his name and that’s when he jumped into action.
“I just ran up the stairs and pushed through the fire,” he said. “I could feel it burning me. I got her and took my shirt off and put it around her face so she wouldn’t breath in any smoke, and I just carried her out as fast as I could.”
The 20-year-old was airlifted to the hospital and suffered second and third degree burns to his arms, back, and face.
“Even though I got burnt, I really didn’t care,” he said. “I’d rather get burnt than her. She’s young. She’s still got a lot of stuff going for her. She’s a good kid.”