A pizza delivery man has been hailed a ‘superhero’ after dashing into a burning building and pulling four children to safety before jumping out a window with a fifth.
Nicholas Bostic, 25, was driving through a neighborhood in Lafayette, Louisiana around midnight on July 11 when he saw the house engulfed in the raging fire.
He pulled up outside intending to call 911 but realized he had left his phone at home and dashed inside with no regard for his own safety.
Bostic said he could not see or hear anyone through the smoke and flames and was about to turn back when he saw the outline of a terrified teen at the top of the stairs, herding a bunch of children.
He had spotted Seionna Barrett, an 18-year-old who was babysitting her three younger siblings and one of their friends while her parents were out playing darts in a nearby bar.
Sprinting up the staircase, Bostic managed to shepherd Seionna and three kids – Shaylee, 13; Kaleia, 1; and Shaylee’s friend Livian Knifley, 13 – through the brutal blaze to safety out on the street.
Eyes and lungs already burning from the heat, it was at that moment a coughing and shaking Seionna said her six-year-old sister Kaylani, nicknamed ‘Baby K,’ was still trapped in the inferno.
The have a go hero then ran back inside and searched for the missing kid, grabbed her and jumped out the broken window on the second floor while shielding her.
Bostic is pictured on a ventilator after suffering severe smoke inhalation in the incredible rescue
Nicholas Bostic, 25, was driving through a neighbourhood in Lafayette, Louisiana around midnight on July 11 when he saw a house engulfed in a raging fire
‘I ran inside and looked under beds and closets, but I couldn’t find her,’ Bostic said. ‘But when I got to the stairs, I heard some faint crying.’
‘I thought, ”I don’t want to die here,” the rescuer said, but he knew he was the only chance Baby K had of escaping alive.
Holding his breath, Bostic scooped up the crying child and felt his way back up the staircase, unable to see anything through the thick black smoke other than a small rectangle of light coming from the rooms upstairs.
Once back upstairs, the heroic pizza delivery man broke open a window, wrapped the girl around his left side and leapt into the air, tumbling two stories and breaking the girl’s fall with his own body.
Bostic was severely injured in the outrageous rescue and collapsed immediately afterwards, having suffered smoke inhalation, burns to several parts of his body and a major laceration on his arm after the window break and subsequent fall.
He was being taken to hospital when the children’s parents, David and Tiera Barrett, arrived at the scene having received a call from Seionna that their house was on fire – the cause of which is not yet known and is under investigation.
Police bodycam footage shows the Bostic carrying a child out of a house completely engulfed in flames
Bostic is pictured sitting on the kerb recovering from his efforts as a fire truck pulls up at the scene
Bostic suffered severe smoke inhalation, burns and a laceration to his arm after breaking the window and subsequently jumping out of the house. He is pictured collapsed on the floor as a police officer checks on him following the incident
Four of the five children meanwhile miraculously escaped with no injuries whatsoever – only Baby K sustained minor trauma from the fall and was treated by first responders at the scene.
‘We feel very blessed for what Nick did,’ David Barrett told The Washington Post.
‘He’s a real hero, and my daughter’s a real hero for waking the kids up. I don’t like to think about what might have happened if Nick hadn’t shown up. I’m grateful beyond words.’
Meanwhile, Lafayette Police Department’s Lt. Randy Sherer said: ‘[Bostic’s] selflessness during this incident is inspiring. What he doesn’t understand is his actions weren’t ordinary, they were extraordinary.
‘He went down those stairs to save that little girl when he thought it was impossible just moments before… There’s only one way to define that: courageous and heroic.’
Faith Holdman Bohannon, grandmother to Livian who had been visiting the house for a sleepover when the blaze erupted, also said Bostic was a ‘true hero’.
Bostic has won plaudits from the children’s parents, law enforcement officers and local government officials for his incredible efforts. He is pictured here being greeted by the mayor of Lafayette after recovering from his injuries
Nicholas Bostic, right, of Lafayette, Ind., was honuored by local officials for rescuing five children from a house fire on July 11, 2022. Mayor Tony Roswarski, left, greets Bostic in a photo posted by the City of Lafayette
The community in Lafayette have since rallied around the Barrett family and Bostic, organising several fundraising events as well as GoFundMe pages to help the family replace their belongings and pay for their saviour’s medical care.
Bostic told the Washington Post he appreciates the help from the community. ‘Going to the hospital is expensive… I’m really grateful that everyone has been so kind and giving,’ he said.
More than $30,000 has already been contributed from the Barrett family and other members of the community.
Bostic finally met the family in their entirety for the first time at a church service on Saturday, where David Barrett told his daughters’ rescuer he is now ‘officially part of the family’.