UPDATE: Troopers, Deputy Save Two-Year-Old From Otsego County Fire, Children Still Recovering

UPDATE: February 2

An update on two children hurt in an Otsego County house fire.

The fire happened last Thursday morning, south of Gaylord.

A babysitter was able to get 7-year-old Krista out of the home — but she was badly burned. Police rescued 2-year-old Kingston. They revived him before firefighters arrived at the scene. Both are still recovering in the hospital.

A family member tells Northern Michigan’s News Leader Krista is expected to be in the hospital for months — and had a lung collapse in addition to her burns.

Kingston is still on a ventilator to help him breathe.

If you’d like to help the family, you can donate on GoFundMe here


January 29

Police saved a child trapped inside a burning Otsego County home, with no time to spare.

In fact the little boy wasn’t breathing when they got him out.

It all began when a babysitter woke up to the home filled with smoke and flames early Thursday morning.

She was able to make it out of the home near Gaylord with a seven-year-old girl and they ran to a neighbor’s for help.

They couldn’t get to the two-year-old asleep in his crib.

Two State Troopers and an Otsego County Sheriff’s Deputy were on scene in just a few minutes.

Without a second thought, they went right into the home, saving the boys life.

Samantha Radecki talked to the men who saved the day.

She continues our coverage on the Otsego County house fire.

It’s a story of bravery and team work, two Michigan State Police Troopers and an Otsego County Deputy worked together to pull a two-year-old boy from a burning house.

Fearlessly, these officers risked their lives to save the toddler.

Michigan State Troopers James Leonard and Rick Carlson were first on scene. Otsego Deputy Justin Holzschu was close behind.

Carlson said there was no time to think, they had to take action.

These men say this was just part of their job, keeping people safe. And their thoughts and prayers are with this family.

Both children are recovering right now. 


A babysitter awoke in terror, finding this house in flames.

She escaped with a 7-year-old girl.

But the smoke and fire blocked them from grabbing the 2-year-old; trapped in his crib.

Since then, we have learned how the quick series of actions from the baby sitter, neighbors, and police saved the toddlers life.

Police made it to the home near Gaylord in only two minutes.  

First on scene, they went into the burning home without hesitation.

Neighbors Richard Johnson and Tayler Menne were still awake, and were approached by the babysitter.

“We heard a hard knock n the door and there was the baby sitter, the little girl was behind her just severely burnt.”

An 18-year-old babysitter was watching a toddler and 7-year-old as their parents worked.

When she awoke to flames, and couldn’t get to the crib; she and the 7-year-old ran for help.

“When they first came out flames were just gushing out.. It was already out of control it was pretty intense. We called 911 and told them where the baby was inside.”

“As soon as she said they baby is in the back they just ran right back there they didn’t hesitate,” said Lt. Derrick Carroll, Assistant Post Commander of the Michigan State Police Gaylord Post.

 When troopers came they couldn’t see anything, but this was sliding glass door…they walked around punched out that window to ventilate out smoke. Once the smoke cleared out they could grab him and get him out of the house.

“Trooper Leonard got down, crawled on his belly through the bedroom…he grabbed him out of there they performed CPR… there was no pulse, there was no breathing. We’re humbled by their bravery, by their response and risking their lives… they saved that baby,” said Carroll.

“If it hadn’t been for the deputy and 2 troopers getting the baby out it would have been a sad situation. The family has lost everything.. but they have their children. That’s the main thing, the house can be replaced,” said Otsego County Fire Chief, David Duffield.

Lieutenant Carroll says the 2-year-old is in stable and responsive.

The 7-year-old girl is also stable, but has extensive burns.

As far as the cause of the fire, investigators have ruled it undetermined for now, but say they aren’t ruling out a wood stove in the home.