Father who saved family from burning Liberty City home speaks out

MIAMI (WSVN) - The Liberty City man who risked his life to make sure his wife and children escaped from their burning home said he did what any devoted husband or father would have done in his place.

Darryl Manning is being hailed a hero after he rushed to his loved ones’ rescue at their home near Northwest 14th Avenue and 59th Street, at around 5 a.m., Friday.

“It was like a burst of fire and wind,” said Manning as he described the smoky scene.

Manning spoke to 7News on Saturday afternoon outside Jackson Memorial Hospital, where paramedics took him after he suffered injuries during the escape.

His wife, Constance Doughty, said she woke up to the smoky situation.

“It got real hot in our room, and I smelled something burning, and I jumped up and I just seen the whole room was covered in smoke,” she said.

Manning acted quickly. He closed the doors in an effort to contain the smoke and busted out the couple’s bedroom window.

“I bust out the window to the room. I bust out my window so my wife and stepson could go through that window,” he said.

But the flames were spreading rapidly across the house, and the couple’s two other children, ages 6 and 10, were still inside in their bedroom on the other side of the house.

“Bust them windows out and told my daughters to wake up, ‘Come on, let’s go!'” said Manning. “I snatched them out the window.”

He also grabbed a ladder to help his children step down to safety.

Manning then used a garden hose in an attempt to put out the flames, but by this point the fire was too big.

City of Miami Fire Rescue crews responded to the home shortly after.

“When the fire crews arrived, we found that there was a smoldering fire in the living room near the couch area,” said Miami Fire Rescue Capt. Ignatius Carroll.

At the end of the ordeal, the family escaped with their lives, but Manning was badly bruised and suffered serious cuts due to the broken glass. He was taken to JMH for treatment.

“I lost an awful lot of blood,” he said. “That’s why they kept me, because my blood pressure went down. I got lacerations all over my back. All over, really.”

Manning said he was just doing his duties as a father.

“I just think any man that loves his family would have made the same moves,” he said. “If anybody is a hero, it’s my wife, because if she don’t wake me up, I don’t think I would have woke up.”

As for Doughty, she said she’s not at all surprised by her husband’s brave actions.

“One thing about him: He will jump into action when it comes to his wife and his kids,” she said.

Officials said a bent air conditioning cord somehow ignited the living room couch.

Manning has since been released from the hospital.

The Red Cross is assisting the family with accommodations until they are able to move back into their home.

The family has set up a GoFundMe page to help in their recovery.

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