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W.Va. Boy Rescues Baby Sister From Fire

December 31, 2003

PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (AP) _ A 12-year-old boy saved his 18-month-old sister from a fire in their home, running through smoke and flames and carrying her out through a second-floor window onto a porch roof.

``She’s my sister, and I’m supposed to take care of her,″ said Michael Wedekamm, who suffered minor burns and smoke inhalation in the fire early Tuesday.

The blaze started in first-floor bedroom and quickly spread to the rest of the two-story home where Michael lived with his mother and three sisters. All escaped with minor injuries.

``Michael went up to get the baby. The rest of them went out the back door,″ said Lt. Carl Sizemore, Parkersburg’s chief fire inspector.

The boy had to kick out a window screen and climb onto the porch roof because the stairway was filled with smoke, authorities said.

He handed his young sister, Allison, to his 13-year-old sister on the ground and jumped to safety.

Michael credited his Boy Scout training with helping him pick the best escape route, said Sizemore, adding that the department planned to give the boy a reward.

``He went through some flames; he got singed up pretty good,″ said Michael’s father, Shane Wedekamm. ``I’m proud of him. The boy did good.″

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