New York: Ray Lucas and his girlfriend Shi’Ann Brown saw their Michigan home on fire while returning from the corner store, where their twin daughters had been trapped.
His mother, who had been babysitting the 18-month-old babies, was panicking in the front yard of their home in Eastpointe, Michigan and desperately seeking assistance.
‘I was speechless. The action took over me. I ran into the house to get my babies,’ Lucas, 23, told the media. ‘I’m looking at it as a father. I did anything that any other father would do or should do,’ he said.
According to Lucas, the fire on July 17 spread through three floors inside, including the basement where Malaysia and Milan were sleeping in their cot. He doubted the fire department would arrive in time.
He dove into the blazing building, immediately realising that the flames had obliterated his vision. However, he was well-versed in the area and proceeded to the basement.
‘I was so delighted they were reacting,’ he stated as he approached the crib and made contact with his girls.
Lucas gathered his children, shielded them with his chest and ran back up and out, retracing his steps through the blinding haze. He turned his kids over to his mother and again went back to discover his niece but couldn’t locate her.
He then came outside to his backyard and spotted his niece through the second-floor window. Lucas caught her with his hands after he instructed her to jump out the window.
‘My arms, both ears, right half of the face and neck were all burnt,’ Lucas explained. Lucas was blind for three days because his corneas were injured and swollen up due to smoke exposure, and he received second-and third-degree burns.
Malaysia and Milan were also severely burned. Both were transferred to the Children’s Hospital of Michigan in Detroit, where they were treated in the intensive care unit.
However, Lucas said that physicians informed him that the burns would fade with time if he took the proper measures. Despite the fact that his injuries have caused him bodily suffering, Lucas said that ‘the burns are causing mental anguish. It puts a lot of mental strain on me. That’s the first time I’ve ever been in a scenario like that.’