Pepco Lineman Rushes Into Burning Home, Saves Toddler

19-year-old lineman extinguishes fast-moving fire

Wednesday, Oct 17, 2012  |  Updated 9:05 PM EDT
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Jackie Bensen tells us how a Pepco worker saved a child from a house fire.

Jackie Bensen

Jackie Bensen tells us how a Pepco worker saved a child from a house fire.

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A 19-year-old Pepco lineman ran into a burning home Wednesday to put out a fast-moving fire while a toddler slept on an upper floor.

Ryan Callahan was part of a crew upgrading electricity to a home under renovation on Ritchie-Marlboro Road in a rural part of Upper Marlboro when he noticed smoke, News4's Jackie Bensen reports.

As Callahan ran inside with a fire extinguisher, others on the Pepco crew ran to alert the homeowner, Malebogo Munamunungu, who had walked her seven- and nine-year-olds to the end of the property's long driveway, to put them on the school bus.

She began sprinting toward the house, knowing that her three-year-old son Asher was still sleeping in an upstairs room.

But Callahan was able to put out the blaze, and little Asher was unharmed.

Prince George's County Fire officials said that, given the home's rural location, the Pepco crew prevented what could have been a tragedy. The home is located down a narrow dirt driveway with low-hanging branches, which could have delayed the response, said Mark Brady of the county's Fire/EMS department.

If the fire had gone on for another couple minutes, Asher could have ended up trapped.

It's not clear how the fire started. A trash compactor burned, but Munamunungu worries she may have left the stove on during the chaos of a school morning.

She called the Pepco employees "angels."

Stay with NBCWashington.com and NBC4 for more information.

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