Heroic Rescue Saves Boy, Baby During Binghamton Fire

By WBNG News

July 22, 2010 Updated Apr 25, 2008 at 6:39 PM EDT

They're thankful for the quick action of several police and fire fighters.

Including heart-pounding efforts to save a 9 year old boy and a baby.

Action News reporter Justin Moss has the stories of hectic, heroic moments.

Binghamton Police say the raging fire trapped a pregnant Zoe Honnick and her 15-month-old child upstairs in this apartment building.

Honnick made it out onto a small roof with the child.

She lowered the child down as a group of police officers waiting below.

She let go, and Binghamton Police Officer Connor Heslin caught the child from a 15-foot drop.

"It's unbelievable the effort, people don't realize that these officers put forth every day, they'll risk their lives for anything," said Acting Police Chief Joe Zikuski.

Sergeant Martin Burnett was also there.

He tells Action News that Honnick was able to hang down from a gutter and drop to safety.

Of the rescue effort, Burnett said "It's reaction. We're trained to react. We're not trained to fight fires by any means. It's hard to separate yourself when you know there are children involved but you do what you can."

As the fire raged, two men in a rear apartment escaped.

A family of five lived in the front apartment downstairs.

Mother Ramona Banks tells Action News the scene was like something from a movie.

When she opened a door to escape, she saw a wall of flames.

Banks, her husband Rodney Smith and their 8-year-old daughter managed to get out.

But their two sons were still inside.

With the porch ceiling engulfed in flames, police convinced the 13-year-old boy to come through a window.

But the 9-year-old boy backed away.

Binghamton firefighters led by Lieutenant Brian Grace and John Shine rescued the child.

Banks says her son suffered smoke inhalation and is improving at Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse.

She said the family is going to visit him in the hospital, all just thankful to be alive.

Justin Moss, WBNG-TV Action News.

Additional Information:

Binghamton Fire Chief Thomas said some of the firefighters will be recommended for awards for valor.

The Binghamton Fire Marshall is investigating the cause.

Binghamton Police are also involved.

The police chief says anytime a fire spreads this quickly, there is cause to be suspicious.

At this time, no one can say whether the fire was intentionally set or an accident.

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