Firefighter Saves Boy In 3-Story Drop From Burning Roxbury Home

BOSTON (CBS) – A Boston firefighter insists he’s not a hero, even though he made a life-saving catch during a 6-alarm fire in Roxbury.

The fire destroyed about 20 apartments in a building on Wardman Road early Monday morning.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Karen Twomey reports

When firefighters arrived they saw heavy fire and smoke everywhere.

“We had about nine people hanging on ledges and windows, hanging out, threatening to jump,” Boston Fire Lieutenant Glenn McGillivray told WBZ-TV.

McGillivray talks to WBZ’s Jim Smith

WBZ-TV’s Bill Shields reports

Firefighters tried to assure them that they had ladders coming to rescue them.

But then McGillivray saw something.

Judith Lamb was on the third floor with her 6-year-old grandson Xavier.

“She had (him) hanging by one hand off of her as she sat on the ledge, so he was dangling. I knew she wouldn’t be able to hold him forever until we were able to affect a rescue off a ladder,” McGillivray said.

“At that point, I moved underneath and instructed her to go ahead and let her (grandson) come down and I was lucky enough to be able to catch him.”

“As soon as I grabbed him, I was extremely thankful I was able to do it and I immediately passed him off because we had more rescues.”

Firefighters then used a ladder to save Xavier”s grandmother.

“(It was) the first time I’ve ever had to make a rescue like that and I hope it’s the last time I have to make a rescue like that,” McGillivray said of his life-saving catch.

“The way he was flailing about, I was just hoping that he wasn’t going to, in effect, be too far out from me where I positioned myself, hoping to catch him.”

McGillivray said he saw the boy a short time later on the sidewalk, gave him a pat, and told him he was glad he’s o.k.

Does he believe he’s a hero?

“No. We all work together. Everybody plays a part in it.”

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  • Joan Hogan

    Boston Fire Fighters Are The Best ! The Citizens Of The City Of Boston Should
    Feel safe and Proud Of The Boston Fire Department.

    • gramps

      This picture deserves ‘Pulitzer Prize’ consideration…


  • B's Fan

    This picture above is so sweet I give the men and woman (cops firefighters paramedics and all in the service) huge credit for the job they do. God Bless them all and stay safe!

  • Lori

    I think what this man did in his capacity as a firefighter is wonderful. Thank you for saving the life of a child!!!

  • Police: Failed Suicide Attempt Caused Roxbury Explosion, Fire

    […] Road just before the fire started around 1 a.m. Firefighters saved about 15 people, including a 6-year-old boy who was dropped from a third-floor apartment into the arms of a firefighter. Ten residents, two firefighters and one police officer were taken to hospitals, most to be […]

  • capt bill's girl

    thank you lieut mcgillvray! st florian was on your side. young xavier is a fortunate youngster indeed. my dad (nypd retired) told us of being on scene in the early 60s at a big fire in nyc, was sitting for a few minutes and talking to a fireman. at the end, as they both got up to go back to their respective duties, dad said “i don’t envy you your job.” his comrade in service to the people of new york said, “no, you’re the one i don’t envy.” the call goes out and our first responders charge in to meet the need. thanks to all who put on a uniform and put others ahead of themselves (and their families).

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    […] grandmother dropped Xavier out of a third floor window into McGillivray’s arms to save him from their burning apartment early Monday […]

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