'They are my son's heroes forever,' dad says about rescuers
TROUTDALE, Ore. - A family of an 8-year-old boy, who was saved from a burning home Monday night, met the boy's rescuer Tuesday.
Marcos Ugarte, 14, saved the boy by using a ladder to climb up to the home's second-story window, while his father, Eduardo, was inside the smoke-filled house trying whatever he could to help.
The flowers and the card the boy's family delivered to the Ugartes was a simple act of saying, "Thank you."
The boy, Cody, is alive thanks to the neighbors the family didn't know until Monday night's fire.
During Suzanne's (Cody's mother) 911 call, seconds seemed like minutes until Marcos grabbed a ladder, broke out a window screen and got Cody out safe.
"I just told him to go feet first, and then he walked down the ladder, but I had my arm around him so he was secure," Marcos said.
At the base of the home's staircase Tuesday, Gresham Battalion Chief Mark Maunder pointed to a line on the wall several feet below the ceiling, marking where thick black smoke and superheated gases filled the air.
"That made it almost impossible to get up the stairs," he said about Eduardo's and Cody's father, You's, attempt to rescue the boy.
The fire began inside Cody's room. Then it spread. The boy locked himself in another room, keeping the door closed and the smoke out.
You and Eduardo kicked, pounded and slammed the locked door until they had get out.
"And I saw Cody and that little boy coming down (the ladder). Thank God," said You.
The two families are now linked forever.
"I will never forget their names anymore, because they are my heroes," You said. "They are my son's heroes forever."
Investigators believe the fire started by accident. They still have not pinpointed a cause.
Marcos Ugarte said he got a lot of congratulations from fellow students at Gresham High School. The Gresham Fire Department plans to honor Ugarte later this year.
Watch a video of Gresham Battalion Chief Mark Maunder giving a KATU News crew a tour of the house. He shows how the fire burned through it, left behind the story of its heat, and how the boy was able to stay safe from the smoke and flames: