Cops rescue autistic boy from blaze

PORT-OF-SPAIN – Police officers yesterday rescued a 12-year-old autistic boy from a fire at his Cunupia home. According to reports, shortly after midday, officers from the Cunupia Police Station were executing a court summons at a house on the Southern Main Road, Warrenville, Cunupia, when they noticed smoke coming from an apartment building.

The officers knocked on the front door of the downstairs apartment but no one answered. However, one of the lawmen peeked through an open window and noticed the boy lying on a bed in the smoked-filled apartment.

After waiting several minutes for fire tenders to arrive, the officers armed themselves with sledgehammers, which they borrowed from a neighbour, and began knocking down a wall to enter the apartment. The officers were successful and managed to rescue the boy, who they later learned was autistic. Investigators believe the boy has the mental capacity of a toddler but was alone at the time.

He was taken to the Chaguanas Health Facility where he was treated for smoke inhalation and was later discharged. Fire tenders from the Chaguanas Fire Station later arrived on the scene and extinguished the fire. Investigators had not established the cause of the fire up to late yesterday. Police said the boy’s parents would be questioned and may be possibly charged for abandoning the child. In a telephone interview yesterday, Superintendent Johnny Abraham of the Central Division commended his officers for their heroic actions.

“I cannot stop praising these officers for their quick action,” Abraham said. He noted that the officers discovered the fire even before neighbours and never hesitated to intervene. “As soon as I got word that a little boy was in there I gave the order to break down the wall immediately, not even thinking of the consequences,” Abraham said. He said although the officers were not trained to deal with such situations, they acted instinctively to save the boy’s life. (Guardian)

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