An 8-year-old Queens boy made the ultimate sacrifice trying to save his younger toddler brother from the flames of a fire engulfing their house. Neither made it out alive, and now their mother is speaking out about her son’s heroic, yet tragic decision.
Before they boarded the windows up Thursday night, you could see pictures of the dead children on the wall inside. Ty Anthony Duckette died trying to save 17-month-old Daniel. Both perished, and their mother, Sonia Wilson, numb with grief, said her second grader’s actions were entirely in character.
The 8-year-old was safely outside his burning home when he ran back in to save his younger brother. His grandmother had gotten him out and went back for the baby, and Ty Anthony decided to follow. The grandmother came back to the scene Thursday night, but was too distraught to speak.
Her daughter had taken three children to school Thursday morning and was food shopping when the back bedroom caught fire. The horrified mother returned to find the place in flames, her baby dying and her boy missing.
But there was nothing to be done. Both children died of smoke inhalation.
CBS 2 found the young hero’s estranged father, Tyrone Duckette, dazed, outside the emergency room.
“Ty Anthony? He’s a hero. He’s a good kid. I love him and I always will,” he said.
“I just remember yesterday. We went to the park and we were all playing tag, and dog and the bone, and I was walking in the street and I was cradling Daniel,” she said. “I never thought that would be the last time we would go to the park together.”
Investigators believe faulty lighting in the building blew and ignited some combustible materials in the home, sparking the blaze. The grandmother told police she tried pouring buckets of water on the fire, but it didn’t work. Ironically, she said it was the 8-year-old boy who told her the house was on fire, the same boy who would run back in, but be unable to make it out.
The family and their four surviving children are being sheltered by the Red Cross.
City Councilman James Sanders Jr. has started a fund for the family, called the “Ty Anthony and Daniel Fund.” For more information, Sanders said to call 3-1-1 and mention his name and the fund.
(Source: CBS2 HD)