CI Hero: Peoria man rescues baby from burning car

CI Heroes

PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — A birthday celebration turned into a life-saving rescue.

Peorian Josh Railey and his girlfriend were out to eat in early 2020 for his birthday celebration. When they left the restaurant, “I just happened to see a car on fire on the side of the road,” said Railey.

The Pawn King worker said as smoke billowed from the burning car, he saw adults break free. He rushed over to make sure everyone was out.

“A lady kinda flopped out of the backseat. I went to go help her. She’s like, ‘my leg’s broken, but get my baby.’ So, I went to the car. I couldn’t even see inside it.”

josh railey | ci hero

With deployed airbags blocking his sight, he relied on another sense.

“I can’t see so I’m just feeling around,” said Railey. “So I check the first seat, didn’t feel [anything]. Second seat… I didn’t feel anything, and then I reached in between the seats, and the baby was there luckily and I was able to pull her out with the carrier and get her out and away from the car.”

Railey said the whole interaction happened in a matter of minutes. Peoria’s Fire Battalion Chief said without Railey’s involvement the baby could have died.

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