Child Rescued From Blaze Meets Firefighter Who Saved Him

CHICAGO (CBS) — A 6-year-old Englewood boy seriously burned in a house fire has now been reunited with the firefighter who pulled him from a burning basement a year ago.

The firefighter who pulled Dereontae Ashford to safety last year was Tom O’Connell.

“Thick black smoke,” O’Connell said, describing the situation he faced that day. “Absolute zero visibility.”

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“I’m searching and I want to find him. And then when I did find him, in that quick second, it’s like, ‘Oh my goodness, here he is.’ ”

O’Connell went to Dereontae’s kindergarten class–because Dereontae wanted to see him.

“He was given a second chance and he’ll have to figure out someday what that was for,” O’Connell said. “Maybe he’ll be president or maybe he’ll be a fireman. Who knows?”

Dereontae’s mother Sabrina Ashford says despite the extensive burns that Dereontae suffered, amazingly, he’s pretty much the same.

And she says he doesn’t want to be president or a firefighter. But a basketball player.

“He wants to be D-Rose,” Sabrina said.

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