Heroic 25-year-old man from Indiana is being celebrated for his bravery after rescuing three teens and two young kids from a raging house fire.
Nicholas “Nick” Bostic, a pizza delivery driver, was driving around 12:30 a.m. when he saw what looked like a small fire out front of a two-story house.
Nick stopped his car and put it in reverse to get a better look at the scene. He didn’t have his phone with him at the time, so he tried to wave down another passing driver, but with no luck.
The Good Samaritan hollered and eventually went inside the home. There was no smoke, and the lights were on inside. The house looked like it had already been evacuated.
Nick yelled some more to see if anyone inside could hear him and was halfway up the stairs when he was four people coming down.
The children’s parents, David and Tiera Barrett, had left about 30 minutes earlier for date night. Their 18-year-old daughter had awoken the other kids in the home to get them out when they realized their house was on fire.
At that point, Nick turned to leave with them through the back door and away from the burning house.
“I asked them if anybody was left in there ― and that’s when they told me that the 6-year-old was,” he told ABC 7 Chicago.
Nick told everyone to wait there and rushed back inside to check, immediately going to the second floor. He went from room to room, checking under beds, behind doors, in closets, and around desks.
“Anywhere I could think,” he recalled. “I mean, I was high-tailing it, 110%. It started to get hard to see, because the smoke was getting bad. … I don’t know how to explain it, but it was like I accepted I was going to probably die, right there, that night. But it was a weird calm. You just got to work as fast as you can.”
Nick doesn’t know how long he had been looking but said it felt like “forever.” Then, he heard what sounded like crying coming from the first floor.
By the time he got downstairs, he couldn’t see where the voice was coming from, so he pulled his shirt up around his mouth, closed his eyes, and started reaching into the thick smoke. Luckily, he reached the girl.
Nick picked up the kid and put her against his shoulder. He thought of getting out through the front or back door, but he couldn’t see them anymore because of the grey-black smoke.
Then, he looked upstairs and saw a bit of light. He remembered seeing a window in a second-floor bedroom and figured that might be the only way out.
Nick punched the glass in the window, but his hand bounced back. He tried again and was able to break the pane.
Although he couldn’t see how far the drop was, he knew they had no choice.
Nick jumped and landed on his right side, injuring his backside, arm, and ankle. The man did all he could to absorb the impact for the little girl, and his efforts paid off because she “was miraculously mostly uninjured,” police said in a news release.
In a police footage from that night, Nick can be seen bringing the girl to an officer at 12:36 a.m. He exclaimed that he needed oxygen and asked if the baby was okay.
The police applied a tourniquet to his arm, which was bleeding profusely, and took him to Franciscan Health Hospital in Lafayette. He was later transferred to Eskenazi in Indianapolis.
Nick was treated for severe smoke inhalation and cuts to his arm from punching the window. He has since been released.
Thankfully, all the home’s occupants also got out without serious injury. The family dog, Buffy was also rescued by EMTs who responded to the scene.
David and Tiera are grateful to Nick and their community for saving their children’s lives.
“I literally told him he’s now part of our family,” David told the Purdue Exponent. “And he was all on board with it. Once we get settled someplace, we’re going to invite him over and his girlfriend for dinner.”
The fire department believes the fire started from ashes that had been emptied into a bucket on the porch before they were completely extinguished.
The local hero will be honored at a Lafayette Aviators game against the Chillicothe Paints in August 2. Tickets purchased with the code FUND2022 will go to a GoFundMe account to help cover Nick’s medical expenses and bills.
A Facebook fundraiser for Nick was also organized, and a second GoFundMe page was started by his cousin, Richard Stair.
Here’s the video to go along with the story. pic.twitter.com/TvZ5wzCg1f
— LafayetteINPolice (@LafayetteINPD) July 15, 2022
“Like I keep saying, it’s not like I’m some superstar hero,” Nick said. “I was at the right place, the right time, and, I guess, the right person.”