British Columbia

Nanaimo boy in cardiac arrest rescued from burning building

A seven-year-old Vancouver Island boy was rushed to B.C. Children's Hospital in Vancouver after being pulled from a burning building while in cardiac arrest.

7-year-old stabilized by paramedics and rushed to BC Children's Hospital in Vancouver

The burned out upper floor of a Nanaimo building that housed a family of seven. A seven-year-old boy was trapped in a back bedroom. (Chek TV)

A seven-year-old boy from Nanaimo, on B.C.'s Vancouver Island, was rushed to B.C. Children's Hospital in Vancouver after being pulled from a burning building while in cardiac arrest.

The boy was one of seven people — a woman, her sister and five of the woman's children — inside the building as it went up in flames early Saturday morning, but he was the only one unable to escape.

It's not clear when the blaze broke out, but it wasn't noticed until shortly after 3 a.m. PT when police officers driving by on routine patrol spotted the fire.

A seven-year-old boy was trapped in this 2nd-floor bedroom at the back of the building. (Chek TV)

Witnesses say RCMP made several attempts to get into the building, but were driven back by the heavy heat and smoke. The fire department arrived about four minutes after receiving the call as flames poured from the upstairs windows.

"Our crews made some really brave attempts to knock back the flames while doing a search of the building, of the top floor, and found the child in the back bedroom," said Martin Drakeley, the assistant chief of the Nanaimo Fire Department.

Drakeley said the boy was in cardiac arrest when he was brought out of the building, but was stabilized by paramedics.

A firefighter looks out from one of the windows of a burnt out building in Nanaimo that housed a family of seven. (Chek TV)

He was initially taken to Nanaimo Regional Hospital, where he was then transferred to B.C. Children's Hospital in Vancouver. Weather conditions wouldn't permit the use of the air ambulance so he was taken to the Vancouver hospital by hovercraft.

A thrift store on the ground floor is closed because of smoke and water damage.

The cause of the fire has not been determined.

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