It was a typical night at Davidson’s home in New Tazewell, Tennessee on 8 December. Chris and Nicole Davidson fed their three children dinner, put them to bed and slept until 8:30 pm.
Hours later, Nicole Davidson woke up to the smell of smoke. Within minutes, the family’s house was engulfed in flames – and 22-month-old Erin Davidson was trapped in her room.
While the couple were able to grab their 2-year-old sons Eliza and Ellie, who had been reared by the family for almost a year, Erin’s bedroom was engulfed in flames.
“The smoke and fire were so thick that I had no way out,” Davidson told CNN. “” We went out to pick him up from the window, but there was nothing for me to stand on to get there. So I picked up Ellie, who went through the window and was able to catch her with her cradle. “
“We couldn’t be more proud of Ellie,” Davidson said. “He did something a big man wouldn’t do.”
And he did it in time.
By the time 20 firefighters arrived at the scene, the flames were engulfed. By the next day, “there was nothing left,” new Tazewell Fire Chief Josh Miracle told CNN.
“I figured I couldn’t do that, but then I said, ‘I met him, Dad,” Ellie told CNN. “I was scared, but I didn’t want my sister to die.”
Davidson has raised 34 children, including Ellie, and adopted two others – Erin and Eliza. Both Nicole and Chris Davidson are also former firefighters.
“We lost everything we ever had,” Chris Davidson said. “Our whole life was in that house. Three of our cars were also damaged in the fire.”
“It’s devastating. We have nothing,” he said. “You’ve never been as polite as you are when you don’t even have your own underwear to wear.”