Neighbor saves girl on burning bunk bed mattress

January 24, 2013 2:40:20 PM PST
A 55-year-old Vietnam veteran saved the life of a 4-year-old girl who was on a bunk bed when the mattress caught fire.

Amya Anderson, 4, suffered burns over half of her body. She was at home with her sister, 16, and brother, 10, when the fire broke out on the mattress of her bunk bed.

"I walked in, and the bed was ablaze. And I just started grabbing stuff, blotting it out, and my neighbor next door started throwing water on stuff," Clyde Harden said. "Through there smoke I saw the little girl, she was sitting there crying she was in shock. I just grabbed her she put my head on her shoulder and ran downstairs with her."

Neighbor Craig Wilson says Harden already had Amya in his arms when he came with the water in a cooking pot to put the fire out on a bottom bunk bed.

"When he was coming downstairs with her before I covered her up, I saw all of this just burned from her neck down her arm, her chest and her back and everything," Wilson said.

"Nothing special, just routine trying to help somebody. The little girl was scared and I was scared, too," Wilson said.

Fire crews arrived at the scene in the 1000-block of West 76th Street in the Autumn Gresham neighborhood around 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, just minutes after the girl was rescued. She and her siblings were taken to Comer Children's Hospital.

The 16-year-old burnt her hands trying to reach her younger sister. She is in good condition, as is the boy.

The flames were contained to the bed. Vanessa Harvin's daughter next door is friends with Amya.

"She has been saying, 'Is my friend going to be alright. . . cause she is burned up from the fire?' And she didn't want to sleep by herself 'cause she keep talking about, 'Why would her brother be playing with matches?'" Harvin said. "It was horrible. I never seen nothing like this."

Fire officials have yet to determine a cause.