2 children trapped in car fire saved by group of workers in Delaware

A Delaware family was saved from a car fire in Wilmington Monday thanks in part to the heroic actions of a group of men working near the scene. 

On Monday at around 7:30 p.m. the Wilmington Fire Department responded to the intersection of A Street and South Walnut Street for a report of a car fire.  

Upon arrival, fire department officials found the car engulfed in flames and the New Castle County Fire Dispatch Center was told that children were reported to be trapped in the car.  

Firefighters were told that employees of a nearby auto detailing shop had removed two children from the auto.  

Police say two children, an 8-month-old and a 5-year-old, suffered extensive burns. They were transported to Nemours Children’s Trauma Center in serious condition.  


2 children, mother trapped in car fire suffer 'extensive burns' in Wilmington: police

A mother and her two children are suffering "extensive burns" after police say they were inside a car that was on fire Monday night in Wilmington.

The driver of the car, the children’s mother, who was able to escape the car, was transported to Christiana Trauma Center with extensive 2nd and 3rd degree burns.  

FOX 29 was in attendance as a family member returned to the gas station Tuesday to thank the men working at the car detail shop who heroically saved the children from the backseat.

Harlan Hawkins identified his niece, Lariyah Aunyea Hawkins, as the driver, and the children as 5-year-old Dante and 8-month-old baby Aliyah. He says they are all in the hospital recovering.

Through a translator, Firefighter Alex Ortiz with the Wilmington Fire Department, the men told FOX 29 about the terrifying and traumatic ordeal. 

"They said they didn’t even think about it. They just started running this way and helping her out," Ortiz said.

Ortiz says the men noticed that the car was on fire shortly after Lariyah pumped gas, and found out later, there were fireworks in the trunk of the car. The flames grew so quickly, they couldn’t see who was in the backseat.

"He could hear the baby crying like really loud. He pulled back and said, OK, let me cover my face, that way I get burnt a little less, and was able to go in, within seconds, unstrap the seatbelt, get him out," said Ortiz, translating for Julio Andres Jimenez. "They managed to get the baby out of the car seat and they kind of stripped the stuff off the baby, and started rolling the baby, just to put everything out as fast as they could here in the grass."

After a long and emotional night processing what happened, the men said they were very relieved to hear that the family is expected to pull through.

"Having the baby in their arms and being able to care for them, it’s frustrating being parents themselves," said Ortiz. "They said, of course, they feel extremely proud, more so that they were given the opportunity to deliver and to respond, and to go into action, and that they were able to do so successfully. They feel extremely proud of it now."