"God used them to save my child:" First responders honored for saving five-year-old boy's life after fire

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- On January 14th, a five-year-old boy's lifeless body was pulled from a burning duplex near N. 77th Street and W. Villard Avenue. On Tuesday, March 3rd -- an emotional ceremony for a father and the firefighters who saved his son's life.

The beginning of the year brought a fire that nearly ended a young boy's life.

It was a fire on the first floor in a home where six people lived. When firefighters arrived, they found a five-year-old boy still inside. He was unresponsive.

"He was not breathing and his heart had also stopped," a Milwaukee Fire official said.

First responders performed CPR and brought the boy back to life. Those first responders were honored at Tuesday's Milwaukee Common Council meeting.

"Saved a five-year-old boy's life, brought him back to life, gave the precious opportunity for a father to raise a son," Alderman Joe Davis said.

"The actions of these individuals pretty much mirror the actions of our firefighters," Milwaukee Fire Chief Mark Rohlfing said.

Firefighter Dave Jauch brought the young boy out to the ambulance.

"At that point I didn't know if he was going to make it or not," Jauch said.

Once the child named Emmanuel was outside, he was handed over to paramedics.

"He was kind of lifeless at that point. And once again the paramedics -- they did a great job of bringing him back," Jauch said.

Rescuers were also thanked personally by the child's father.

"My child was dead and he came back to life. He was lost and then found by this group," Chidi Onukwugha said.

Chidi Onukwugha says his son Emmanuel is recovering well and is even back in school.

"He is doing great. He is doing wonderful," Onukwugha said.

Probably the second best thing to hugging your child is hugging those who saved his life.

"God used them to save my child," Onukwugha said.

In this case, we're told the floor where the fire started didn't have a working smoke detector. It's an important reminder to check your smoke detector batteries, and make sure you have smoke alarms installed in your home. Need a smoke detector? Call the city of Milwaukee's Smoke Detector Hotline: (414) 286-8980.

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