A 13-year-old boy jumped to safety from a second-storey window to escape a house fire in Winnipeg's Luxton neighbourhood Saturday morning, police say, adding that the family of eight is safe and sound.
The fire, on the 100 block of Bannerman Avenue, was discovered at 3:55 a.m. CT by police officers on regular patrol.
The officers encountered smoke in the area and tracked it to a burning house where a man was in the process of getting his family out of the home.
Police told CBC News that one of the children, a 13-year-old, was reluctant to escape from a window on the second floor. However, after a little coaxing he jumped into the arms of one of the officers and another man who was there.
Consts. David Weisz and Ray Pabuya were identified by police as the officers involved. In an interview late Saturday, Pabuya said he broke down a fence to rescue several children and their mother who were trapped in the backyard, while Weisz stood outside the home and coaxed the boy to jump from the window.
The boy seemed terrified, Weisz suggested.
"He did seem kind of paralyzed back there with the smoke coming in from behind him," Weisz said.
"Thankfully — I think his dad was there as well to kind of reassure him — and he jumped and did what he had to do.
"I think mom and dad deserve all the credit here. They definitely played an important role and vital role in getting all their kids out and into safety," Weisz said.
Despite the precipitous drop, the teen and the rescuers were not seriously injured.
Police said a 35-year-old man and a 33-year-old woman, along with six children aged 11 months to 13 years, were taken to hospital to be checked out and treated for minor injuries.
The parents had some cuts and were treated for smoke inhalation, police said.
Although the fire was successfully put out, there was significant damage to the home. The loss is estimated at around $300,000.
There is no word on what may have caused the fire.