A woman dropped her two young children three stories to safety as fire destroyed their home before dawn Wednesday, but her 16-year-old son died in the blaze.
“My baby, my baby. Why can’t you get him?” Patty McDowell wailed to firefighters as she watched from a neighbor’s front porch.
An Astoria firefighter found the body of Brian McDowell, who went by the name of Bob, in a bathroom doorway.
His mother told neighbors she was awakened by the smoke alarm.
Fire and smoke blocked their escape from bedrooms on the top floor.
Patty McDowell awoke her 8-year-old son Chad and 6-year-old daughter Tara, who shared a bedroom.
She dropped Chad about 25 feet to the ground. He ran to the home of a neighbor, who called 911.
A good friend of Brian McDowell rammed the front door with his shoulder and tried to run through the flames on the stairs.
“But I pulled him back,” Joel Jenson Jr.’s father said.
Patty McDowell dropped her daughter to the ground, then a neighbor climbed a ladder to get the mother.
She and the children were treated for smoke inhalation, and Chad for a broken wrist.
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