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Monday, Aug. 29, 2016

Boy saved from fire, tragedy averted

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Sikeston DPS Director Drew Juden shakes the hand of Jimmy Gipson who rescued a child from a burning tractor-trailer
(Photo by Tim Jaynes, Staff)
Sikeston man rescues 2-year-old child from a burning truck Wednesday

SIKESTON -- A possible tragedy was averted on Wednesday morning thanks to the quick thinking of a Sikeston man.

Jimmy Gipson rescued a 2-year-old child from a burning semi-truck outside the former Essex building Tuesday morning, as he arrived to make preparations for a new business moving in later this month.

"The truck was at the dock and I saw that it was on fire when I was pulling into the lot," said Gipson. "I was running inside to tell them the truck was on fire and I saw him out of the corner of my eye -- there was a little boy trying to get out of the truck."

Gipson said that's when he stopped thinking and started to react, pulling the boy from the truck minutes before it burst into flames. "It all happened so fast, I couldn't tell you what happened," he said.

Sikeston DPS firefighters extinguish the tractor-trailer fire
(middle and bottom photos)
The toddler suffered no injuries.

His father, Alan D. Cart, is an over-the-road driver from French Trucking in Tennessee and was delivering items for the new Philips Products plant. According to Sgt. Bill Mygatt of the Sikeston Department of Public Safety, the boy was reportedly asleep in the sleeper of the truck when his dad went inside the building.

Chief Drew Juden, director of DPS, praised Gipson for his quick thinking and noted that although the child could have likely gotten the door of the truck open by himself, he still could have fallen and gotten hurt.

"I think there's no doubt that a serious tragedy was averted by the fact that Jimmy saw the child in the truck and then rescued the child," said Juden. "I think he should be commended for his quick thinking and commitment to get involved."

Gipson, who said "I'm no hero," added that he has never had any emergency training and was purely relying on instinct during the rescue.

"It was just something that had to be done-- I'm just proud that the little boy was OK," he said. "It was just an accident that I was in the right place at the right time today."

Mygatt said DPS firefighters were called to the scene at 8:31 a.m. and remained until 9:41. Gipson had already rescued the youngster by the time they arrived.

The cause of the fire appears to be electrical, Mygatt said.