WARNING GRAPHIC VIDEO: Dramatic rescue of child following Indiana home explosion
Police, firefighters and bystanders help save family
Dramatic video has emerged showing police, firefighters and bystanders racing to save an Indiana family trapped under rubble following a fiery home explosion.
Lt. Kevin Van Kley — whose bodycam footage captured the harrowing scenes on Sept. 10 in Porter, southeast of Chicago — received the Porter County Sheriff’s Office’s Medal of Honor this week for the heroism he displayed.
"It was nothing short of a miracle that we were close by," the sheriff’s office quoted him as saying, noting that two other sergeants "were also given Life Saving Awards for their critical roles in the incident."
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The footage begins with officers encountering a scene of destruction as rubble and debris are scattered throughout a property, with flames rising in the background.
"We are coming to you. We need a pry bar! We need a pry bar!" Van Kley is heard yelling over the crackling of the blaze.
The officer and two bystanders then lift up rubble to remove a crying child out from underneath.
"Here baby. I got you baby… we’re going. It’s over," Van Kley is heard telling the 3-year-old.
Porter County Sheriff David Reynolds honors Lt. Kevin Van Kley with the department’s Medal of Honor. (Porter County Sheriff’s Office)
The officer then walks over to another part of the property where he encounters a man comforting a woman lying on the ground.
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"Hey, we need to move, we got to get moving," he says.
"My leg is broke. My leg is so broke," she responds, to which Van Kley says "OK, it’s going to get hotter, keep moving her."
Van Kley, police officers and members of the Porter Fire Department are then seen holding up part of a collapsed roof to rescue another woman trapped inside the rubble.
"My brother came in and lifted the mattress off me. Everybody just had to drag me out," the rescued woman, Kayla Boomsma, told NBC’s Today Show on Wednesday. "I was safe, it was a huge relief."
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Seven people, including the child, were left injured from the home explosion that was caused by natural gas, according to Fox32 Chicago.
"We also want to recognize the brave Firemen from Porter Fire and the other Police Officers from Porter, Chesterton, Burns Harbor, and Ogden Dunes Police Departments that were also actively helping rescue the family," the Porter County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement. "We also want to commend the citizens in the area that came to aid their fellow neighbors."
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