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Middlesboro boy fighting for his life after fire destroys family home

5-year-old Brandon Sturgill Jr. remains in critical condition at Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville.
Published: Oct. 19, 2020 at 8:43 PM EDT
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MIDDLESBORO, Ky. (WYMT) - When Brandon Sturgill Sr. and his wife Crystal woke up on Saturday morning, what was supposed to be a typical fall weekend quickly turned into a parent’s worst nightmare.

As their family’s home was engulfed in flames, everyone was evacuated from the house - everyone except for two.

5-year-old Brandon Sturgill Jr. and his grandmother Cathy remained trapped inside.

Despite Brandon’s numerous efforts, which included busting out the nearest window, he was unable to overcome the massive amounts of flames and smoke coming from the structure.

“It’s the worst feeling in the world when you can get two feet away from two people you love the most and you can’t rescue them," Sturgill said.

Within five minutes, fire crews arrived on the scene.

That’s when Middlesboro fire chief Robert England knew he had to make the call: it was time to go in.

“It gets really nervous for us at times. You can have a two or three, four, five-minute span of time go by that just seems like an eternity," England said.

As England called the shots from outside, his crews emerged from the home with both Brandon and Cathy in-hand.

Both were later airlifted to Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville.

For Lieutenant Josh Keck, who was one of the first on the scene, the sense of relief he felt when both were rescued was one he could only describe as “major.”

“It gives you a sense of pride knowing everything you’ve been training for and working for and doing up to this point, just paid off and everything went according to plan I guess, as best as it could," Keck said.

As Crystal and Brandon both await their son’s recovery by his side, they had one message to share with the public.

“Don’t ever take nothing for granted. Just keep a close eye on your babies, don’t ever let them out of your sight for one moment," the two parents said.

Brandon Jr. remains in intensive care and is in critical condition.

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