Firefighters rescue boy, 10, stuck in tree

Youngster's brother climbed down on his own

By John Branton and Paul Suarez

Published:

Updated: April 9, 2012, 7:46 PM

 
photoFirefighter John Windus helps a boy out of a tree on Monday afternoon.

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Vancouver firefighters on Monday afternoon came to the rescue of a boy who was stuck 40 feet up a tree.

Two brothers, ages 7 and 10, climbed the tree at 8821 N.E. 104th St. in the Sunnyside neighborhood, said Capt. Dave James, a Vancouver Fire Department spokesman.

The rescue effort started around 1:05 p.m., when a Clark Public Utilities worker heard branches breaking and saw the two boys in the tree, who asked him for help, James said.

About then, the 7-year-old climbed down on his own. But the other brother had climbed higher, 40 feet, and needed help, James said.

Vancouver’s Engine 7 arrived six minutes later and called for a ladder truck to help get the boy down. After Truck 5 arrived, it extended its aerial ladder into the tree. Firefighter John Windus climbed the ladder and attached a harness to the 10-year-old and brought him down, James said. Both boys were uninjured after the ordeal.

The boys’ mom was at work. The oldest brother, who was watching them, went to a store, leaving the boys on their own, James said. The family lives near where the boys had their adventure.

Helping someone get out of a tree isn’t something that happens every day, James said. “It’s actually pretty rare.”

James said the fire department usually gets more requests to rescue trapped cats. The department doesn’t have the resources to rescue felines, but children are another matter, he said.

A neighbor, Pamela Sillars, said she came home and saw police officers at the scene. By that time, the ladder truck had left.

She described the boys as “adventurous” and said the two have been known to climb onto rooftops and up her maple tree.

“They are nice boys,” she said. “I’m glad they weren’t hurt.”

When her two grandsons, who are about the same ages, visit, it gets even more interesting, she said.

John Branton: 360-735-4513 or john.branton@colum