LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Without the heroic actions of one Lafayette man, police say several children might have lost their lives in a fire Monday. On Thursday, the Lafayette Police Department wrote about the fire and the heroic actions of Nicholas Bostic.
Around 12:30 a.m. Monday, the Lafayette police and fire departments arrived in the 2200 block of Union Street to find a house fully engulfed in flames. The intensity of the fire prevented them from making their way inside. They learned a 6-year-old child was possibly still inside.
While firefighters were combatting the blaze to attempt a rescue, Bostic jumped through the second-story window holding the child. While the man was suffering from severe smoke inhalation and a wound to his arm, the child was mostly uninjured.
The department said Bostic’s injuries required him to be flown to Indianapolis for treatment. On Wednesday, he recovered enough to walk the department through what happened that night.
The department described what he told them as nothing short of courageous and heroic.
Nicholas Bostic was on his way home when he saw a house on fire. Not being able to call 911, and not wanting to waste time trying to find someone that could, he jumped into action.
Bostic slammed on the brakes, threw his car in reverse, turned around, and pulled into the driveway. Knowing he had to act, Bostic told the department he ran behind the home and opened the back door.
At first, Bostic yelled inside the home, trying to warn the occupants of the danger. When he didn’t receive a response, he told the department he thought everyone may have already evacuated. Bostic didn’t want to take the chance, however, and decided to go in.
“I knew what I was risking,” said Bostic.
He told the department he walked through the house, calling out the danger. Eventually, he made his way upstairs and found four children asleep in their beds.
Bostic’s yells roused them from their slumber and he helped them escape from the house. Once outside, he told the department that he found out a 6-year-old child was still inside.
Back into the flames
Heading back in, Bostic said he frantically searched the rooms looking for the child, even looking under the beds. He started upstairs, where he found the other children. Not being able to find the child, he started to head back downstairs to find what he described as a “black lagoon” of smoke.
“The smoke just came out of nowhere. It was pitch black, pitch black. The heat was excruciating,” said Bostic.
Bostic would later recall to the department about an inner dialog he had with himself. He knew that he was there to get the child out, and even though the fire and smoke downstairs frightened him, he would not quit.
Bostic told police he wrapped his shirt around his mouth and nose before plunging into the darkness. He described the scene as so black he couldn’t see anything in front of him. The heat from the fire made it feel like he was walking into an oven.
Downstairs, he started crawling on the ground, feeling in front of him with his hands. He told police he was able to hear the last remaining child crying in the dark. Bostic used these cries to help him find the child.
Once Bostic was able to find the girl, he told the department that he tried to remember where the back door was. He was unable to find this escape. Instead, Bostic said he was able to find he was back to the stairs. He ran upstairs carrying the child.
“I grabbed her and held her snug and I ran up those stairs like a running back for the Colts,” said Bostic.
Once upstairs, Bostic encountered a window, which he told police he broke by punching it with his bare fist. He tried rushing to get out the window, but the girl’s leg got stuck in the pull cord to the blinds.
Realizing that he was rushing, Bostic said he calmed himself down and untangled the string before jumping out the window. He landed on the side where he was not holding the child before picking himself up and carrying the girl to safety.
The fire was ruled accidental and it’s still under investigation.
A heroes’ reward
The department said Bostic’s heroic actions saved lives.
“His selflessness during this incident is inspiring, and he has impressed many with his courage, tenacity, and steadfast calmness in the face of such perilous danger,” the department said in a release.
The police and fire departments, along with Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarksi, wanted to publically recognize Bostic for his actions. On August 2, during the National Night Out at the Lafayette Aviator‘s game, Bostic will be honored.
The department invites the public to attend the game. Proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to Nicholas’ fundraiser page. People can use promo code FUND2022 to save $2 on tickets to the game, and $4 of the ticket price will be donated.