Heroes emerge from house fire rescue

By Jeff Ferrell – bio|email

BOSSIER CITY, LA (KSLA) – An Ark-La-Tex nanny and a Bossier Parish Sheriff's deputy are both described as heroes after their efforts to save a 9-month old baby from a burning house this week, after a lightning strike.

That lightning strike hit the home's roof during an afternoon thunderstorm on Wednesday (4/7), with only the nanny and baby home at the time.  On this next day, Trey Morris gave us a tour inside what's left of his home, ravaged by smoke and flames.  It's located in the 100-block of Devereaux Drive in The Colony subdivision, off Benton Road just north of Bossier City.

During our tour inside, a hint of smoke could still be seen rising from the charred remains inside the bedroom of Trey Morris' 9-month old son, Jake.  Debris was scattered everywhere, with half-burnt insulation covering the blanket inside Jake's normally-white crib.

Luckily, the baby was sitting in Kathy Anders lap in the living room when the lightning struck the roof.  Anders is Jake's nanny.  She immediately called the baby's mother:  "And said that she (Anders) thought lightning had struck her vehicle," recalled Jake's mother, Lacy Morris.

Morris received that call on her cell phone while stuck in traffic along Interstate-220.  She suggested that Anders go check her car in the driveway.  "Then she (Anders) called me back maybe ten minutes later and said she smelled fumes.  And, I said, 'get out of the house and call 9-1-1," continued Morris.

Just then, a knock came from the front door.  "Someone came up to the door to let her know that the upstairs was on fire, so they were getting out," added Morris.  That someone turned out to be the next door neighbor, an off-duty Bossier Sheriff's deputy who heard the huge crackle from the lightning strike and rushed to the house to help.

Anders revealed that night, "Oh, I got upset.  I started crying you know and I just grabbed the baby."  The deputy even held little Jake Morris as Anders moved her car out of danger and out of the way from fast-approaching fire crews from Benton Fire District #4.

"And then she (Anders) called me back and she was just pretty frantic saying that the house was on fire, letting me know that they were out," said Morris.  "And just about five minutes after we got out, the whole house was engulfed in flames," explained Anders.

When Lacy Morris was finally able to reach home, she won't soon forget the sight of her little boy sitting inside an ambulance.  "He (Jake) was smiling and giggling in the ambulance with the nice ladies that were working with him in there and he was A-Okay."

Now a day later, Lacy's husband, Trey Morris, got word from inspectors that the house is 'officially' a total loss.  He and his wife gathered what belongings they could, before leaving to spend at least the next several months with family and friends.  "I'm not even worried about that part.  I'm just thankful that everybody's okay," concluded Lacy Morris.

By phone, on this day after the fire, Anders told me she may need to see a doctor because of all the smoke she breathed in.  As for the other hero, the Bossier Sheriff's office would not release the name of the off-duty deputy, yet; at least until Sheriff Larry Deen gives the go-ahead personally.  That could come Friday.  That, however, did not stop the sheriff's office from releasing a detailed account of the actions from the 'as-yet unnamed' deputy.

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