Driving past burning house in Indiana, stopped and rescued five children

(CNN) — An Indiana man is being hailed a hero by local authorities after walking into a house engulfed in flames last week and saving the lives of several children trapped inside the burning structure.

Nicholas Bostic, 25, was driving in Lafayette, Indiana, just after midnight on July 11 when he saw a house on fire, according to a Lafayette Police Department news release, and pulled into the driveway.

Bostic was able to enter through a back door that was open and began checking to see if anyone was in the home, the release said. Going upstairs, he found four children—ranging in age from one to 18—asleep and woke them up, helping them escape from the house.

Once Bostic was able to get the children out of the house, he learned that a fifth child, a six-year-old girl, was still inside. Going back inside, he looked for her and, hearing her cry, he eventually tracked her down, according to police.

Bostic was unable to find an exit on the main floor as the flames intensified, police said, and the two would be forced to jump out a second-story window to safety. Bostic had to break the window with his hand to get it open, according to the statement.

“I tried to find the back door, but I didn’t find it and I didn’t want to miss too much,” Bostic told CNN affiliate WLFI.

The Lafayette Police Department posted dramatic video on social media showing firefighters arriving at the home, and Bostic is later seen walking out of the burning home with the girl in his arms. Approaching the fire personnel, she hands them the girl and sits on the ground.

“Is the girl okay? Please tell me the baby is okay,” Bostic asks as they attend to him. A police officer confirms this and tells him, “You’ve done well.”

According to authorities, Bostic was seriously injured during the rescue, suffering smoke inhalation and deep cuts to his right arm. The girl “was miraculously uninjured in most of her,” according to the statement.

Bostic told WLFI that he has a possible severed tendon in his arm. “The bottom of my hands are blistered as if I’ve grabbed something hot. I remember seeing flames through the window as he punched it out,” he said.

A Lafayette police spokesman told CNN the family is doing well and has since been reunited with Bostic at a friend’s house and at church. The parents had left for the night and the 18-year-old was with the children, according to police.

“Nicholas Bostic’s heroic actions saved lives,” Lafayette police said in the statement. “Your self-sacrifice of him during this incident is inspiring, and he impressed many with his courage, tenacity and steadfast calm in the face of such dangers.”

Bostic’s family started a GoFundMe to help with his medical bills.

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