Father recounts saving family from house fire near Eastex Freeway in north Houston

Wednesday, February 1, 2023
Father saves 1-year-old son from house fire: 'He is in good condition'
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A 1-year-old boy is expected to be OK after his father's fast action to get him out of their home after it caught on fire.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A father risked his own life saving his 1-year-old son, who was sleeping in his crib, during a house fire in north Houston.

The house fire happened at about 6:30 a.m. Tuesday in the 4500 block of Antha Street near Tidwell, according to the Houston Fire Department.

Angel Ruiz told ABC13 he woke up to the smell of smoke and rushed to his son's room, describing that it was full of thick, black smoke. Ruiz said it was so thick he couldn't see or even breathe, but he knew he had to do everything possible to save his son's life.

"It was shocking. I didn't know what to do, but I just knew my family had to get out. That was really the only thing that went through my head," he said.

Ruiz said he woke up his entire family after he saw smoke pouring down from the attic.

He shared the pictures below of him and his family with us.

"I grabbed a shirt so I could run back in to get him, but I couldn't see anything because his crib was so hollow," Ruiz described his son's rescue. "So I grabbed the shirt in my hand to let the smoke out and went to the hallway to catch a breather. By the time I went back in, I pulled the door, so I could just jump in there and grab him."

When Ruiz grabbed his son, he said the boy was lifeless, so he started performing CPR.

"I didn't know what I was doing. I just knew you had to basically push right here, hold the nose, and I was just doing what you see in movies," he said.

It worked.

Baby Ty started breathing. A neighbor took over and helped resuscitate the child, according to Ruiz.

That's when the Houston Fire Department received a call about cardiac arrest. When authorities arrived, some crews assessed the 1-year-old while other crews battled the fire, Capt. Sedrick Robinett with HFD said.

Robinett said firefighters could control the fire from the right side of the house. Arson investigators are working to determine the cause.

"I don't care what happened to me, as long as he got out," Ruiz said.

Ty is recovering in the hospital and is expected to be OK. His father shared the following update from the hospital with ABC13, "He is in good condition. For now, doctors are trying to just clean his airways and make sure there is no damage to his lungs. He is red due to the heat, but nothing serious, thankfully."

A GoFundMe has been created to help support the family.