Nicholas Bostic, a 25-year-old pizza delivery driver, happened to be driving past a home in the city of Lafayette at midnight, when he noticed a two-story house on fire. As reported by ABC 7, he feared that there were people trapped inside but didn’t have his phone with him to call 911.
Bravely, he decided to enter the home himself, and as it turned out, five people were inside the house: four siblings aged 1, 6, 13 and 18, and another 13-year-old who was sleeping over.
He got in through a back door, yelling to see if anyone could hear him. His shouting woke up the eldest sibling, who then woke up the two younger teens and grabbed her 1-year-old sister before Nicholas led them outside to safety.
“For a minute I didn’t understand it, but my sister ran upstairs with the baby in her hands and yelled at us to get up because there’s a fire,” 13-year-old Shaylee Barrett told the Purdue Exponent. “And for a minute I froze and I laid there because I was confused. That’s when we went downstairs and Nick was downstairs helping us.”
But there was one child who hadn’t made it out yet. “I asked them if anybody was left in there and that’s when they told me that the 6-year-old was,” Nicholas told ABC 7. Thus, he returned to the blaze, searching different rooms, under beds and in closets, through what he described as a “lagoon of smoke.”
“I don’t know how to explain it, but it was like I accepted I was going to probably die, right there, that night,” he told journalist Dave Bangert. “But it was a weird calm. You just got to work as fast as you can.”
Thankfully, he was able to find the 6-year-old girl, but they had no way out. After punching through a window to get out of the flame-engulfed home, police video from the scene shows Nicholas dropping to the ground with the girl in his arms. He couldn’t see how far the drop was, but they didn’t have a choice.
He jumped, landing on his right side, injuring his arm, backside and ankle. He said he did what he could to absorb the impact for the girl, and police confirmed that the girl “was miraculously mostly uninjured.” Backlit by the flames, he walked towards first responders.