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Tuesday, June 2, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

Mother Drops Children Three Stories To Safety, But Third Child Dies In Fire

By Associated Press

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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