WEATHER AUTHORITY : Severe Thunderstorm Watch View Alerts

Toddler rescued from vent, 911 calls released

A Waterford toddler is recovering after getting stuck in an air conditioning and heating vent at a home Tuesday morni...

Posted: Jun 28, 2018 1:35 PM
Updated: Jun 28, 2018 1:35 PM

A Waterford toddler is recovering after getting stuck in an air conditioning and heating vent at a home Tuesday morning.

Firefighters were called to the home just after 7:30 a.m. after the 14-month-old fell down the ventilation shaft.

Somehow, 14-month-old Elijah Irizarry lifted up a vent cover on the floor and fell from the second floor past the first floor, down to the crawl space beneath the house.

"I looked down and I saw him in the vest. I just couldn't breathe," said Kristie Mendes, Elijah's mother.

Waterford fire officials said it was about a 12-foot drop.

Kristie said she had gone to the bathroom for a second and he was in a gated area of the hallway, but somehow got the vent cover off and fell in.

Fire officials said the child was conscious and alert, but did suffer some scrapes.

Fire crews were able to access the crawl space below the home and disassemble the ventilation duct work to rescue the toddler.

Elijah was rescued within 20 minutes.

"They did great, the first responders. Everybody, everyone that came in and helped to get him out as a team," said Kristie.

His parents said this was scary, and something they won't soon forget, but they still don't know how Elijah got the vent cover off. They said they thought it was screwed down to the floor.

Kristie thinks Elijah used a hanger to lift off the vent cover. He had never done that and she says she always assumed the vent was screwed down.

She hopes this can be a teaching moment for all parents.

"I want out of all of this to help people be aware that it can happen and like today, I'm getting all new grates and screwing them all down," Kristie said.

The Waterford Fire Department said this is a good opportunity for parents to inspect their vents to see if they are screwed in.

"Thanks to extensive training and the unification of all on scene emergency personnel this incident was mitigated swiftly and luckily resulted in a very positive outcome," Waterford fire officials said in a Facebook post.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 16560

Reported Deaths: 794
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds107426
Madison76728
Lauderdale75968
Neshoba72844
Jones70133
Scott66312
Forrest59539
DeSoto57510
Rankin4569
Leake45212
Holmes44330
Copiah3294
Jackson31415
Attala31118
Yazoo2964
Newton2884
Lincoln28031
Leflore27736
Oktibbeha27314
Harrison2697
Monroe26925
Wayne2623
Lamar2505
Lowndes2479
Pearl River21231
Pike20411
Adams20316
Washington1987
Warren19610
Lee1948
Noxubee1936
Covington1792
Bolivar16911
Jasper1674
Clarke15619
Smith15511
Kemper15511
Lafayette1544
Chickasaw14014
Coahoma1314
Clay1254
Winston1241
Carroll11911
Marion1169
Claiborne1155
Lawrence1071
Grenada1074
Simpson1040
Yalobusha1046
Sunflower923
Tate911
Hancock9012
Union897
Itawamba897
Marshall873
Wilkinson859
Panola843
Montgomery841
Webster844
Jefferson Davis823
Tippah7611
Calhoun674
Amite661
Walthall640
Humphreys637
Tunica583
Prentiss533
Perry513
Choctaw502
Pontotoc473
Jefferson421
Tishomingo360
Greene331
Stone320
Quitman320
Tallahatchie301
George292
Franklin292
Alcorn191
Benton140
Sharkey70
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 19073

Reported Deaths: 672
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Mobile2321118
Jefferson1901104
Montgomery185843
Tuscaloosa83616
Marshall7089
Franklin5858
Lee56234
Shelby52819
Tallapoosa43466
Butler42118
Walker3862
Elmore3749
Chambers36026
Madison3534
Unassigned3062
Morgan3021
Baldwin2939
Dallas2923
Lowndes26512
Etowah26312
DeKalb2573
Autauga2415
Coffee2391
Sumter2287
Houston2265
Bullock2176
Pike2120
Colbert1902
Hale1859
Russell1810
Barbour1771
Marengo1756
Lauderdale1722
Calhoun1673
Wilcox1577
Choctaw15310
Cullman1521
Clarke1492
St. Clair1351
Randolph1287
Dale1240
Marion12411
Pickens1205
Talladega1195
Limestone1080
Chilton1071
Greene954
Macon934
Winston910
Jackson833
Covington821
Henry822
Crenshaw783
Bibb761
Escambia753
Washington736
Blount631
Lawrence510
Monroe462
Geneva440
Perry430
Conecuh411
Coosa401
Cherokee383
Clay282
Lamar280
Fayette160
Cleburne151
Tupelo
Broken Clouds
91° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 99°
Columbus
Clear
91° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 99°
Oxford
Scattered Clouds
88° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 96°
Starkville
Clear
88° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 94°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather