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.

Through this submission form, you can nominate someone you know to be our next CI Hero.

Link to Give: 1-855-411-GIVE(4483)

Link to Donate:

To donate blood/ become a volunteer: visit

2021 Virtual Heroes Event- Honoring Heroes in an Extraordinary Time, Thursday, April 29
9 a.m. – 10 a.m.
Please join the Illinois Red Cross for the region’s signature event, as it honors 24 community heroes from across the region. Attendance is free and encouraged! Learn more and register here by April 19th:

About the American Red Cross of Illinois
The American Red Cross of Illinois serves 12.4 million people in 88 counties in Illinois, Iowa and Missouri including Adams, Bond, Boone, Brown, Bureau, Carroll, Cass, Champaign, Christian, Clark, Clay, Clinton, Cook, Coles, Crawford, Cumberland, DeKalb, De Witt, Douglas, DuPage, Edgar, Effingham, Fayette, Ford, Franklin, Fulton, Green, Grundy, Hamilton, Hancock, Henderson, Henry, Iroquois, Jasper, Jefferson, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Knox, LaSalle, Lake, Lee, Livingston, Logan, Macon, Macoupin, Marion, Marshall, Mason, McDonough, McHenry, McLean, Menard, Mercer, Montgomery, Morgan, Moultrie, Ogle, Peoria, Perry, Piatt, Pike, Putnam, Richland, Rock Island, Sangamon, Schuyler, Scott, Shelby, Stark, Stephenson, Tazewell, Vermillion, Warren, Washington, Whiteside, Will, Williamson Winnebago, Woodford. Iowa: Lee, Muscatine, Scott and Van Buren. Missouri: Clark, Lewis, Marion and Ralls. The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit us at or visit us on Twitter @RedCrossIL.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Latest Local News

More Local News