2-year-old boy falls off roof; 13-year-old rescues 18-month-old

By Dave Kern, Columbian assistant metro editor

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Damon Davenport knew a 2-year-old was hurt, he just didn’t know he was about to rescue the toddler’s brother.

Here’s what happened at 4:15 p.m. Sunday at the Prairie View Apartments, 12611 N.E. 99th St. in Orchards.

The two Buehler brothers were napping in their third-story room when 2-year-old Jaden decided to push the crib from the north wall to the west wall to be near the window.

Jaden then pushed open a partially damaged window screen, went onto the roof, navigated across the ridge and fell 18 feet.

“The boy landed on damp soil near a sidewalk,” said Sgt. Bill Roberts of the Clark County Sheriff’s Office.

Damon, 13, a Covington Middle School seventh-grader who had been playing football, said, “I heard a thump and I heard the baby cry.”

He ran to the child, as did others, and then ran upstairs to get the child’s father, Ben Buehler.

As the father got to Jaden, Damon noticed more danger.

“Everybody said ‘There’s another baby up there,’” he recalled. “I ran (back upstairs) and I opened the door and opened the window and pushed out the screen and grabbed the baby boy who was two inches from the edge.

“He was crying; he was an 18-month-old baby. And I grabbed and handed him back to the dad,” Damon said.

Officials said the boys’ mother was not at home when the accident happened.

Jaden was taken by paramedics to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center. He was examined and sent home Sunday night.

“He’s quite the hero,” Capt. Scott Willis of the Vancouver Fire Department said of Damon. “He did something a lot of kids his age wouldn’t have done. He’s very brave.”

Willis said Capt. Perry LeDoux, who was at the scene, will nominate Damon for a lifesaving award.

“I feel good,” Damon said.

His friends weighed in. “They said good job, Damon. You rescued a baby,” Damon said.

“David (one of Damon’s three brothers) said, ‘I’m really proud of you,’ ” Damon said.

“I’m very proud of him for reacting in that manner,” said Damon’s mom, Tonia Jenkins. “To just act on what he had to do. … It was a wonderful thing he did.”

An attempt to reach Ben Buehler was unsuccessful.