A 10-year-old girl from Washington state is being praised as a local hero for saving a toddler from a collapsed bounce house at a carnival last weekend, ABC affiliate KOMO reported.
Ryann Raffelson was attending the Pirate Daze Festival, a local festival in Westport, Wash., on June 22. She was in the bounce house, along with 2-year-old Alissa Lamm, when the house collapsed.
Richard Lamm, Alissa’s father, told ABC News that the gas went out of the generator from which they run the balloon toys, so the house began to deflate. Alissa, who weighs all of 26 pounds, was stuck inside along with two small boys.
“She was trapped,” Lamm said. “All that rubber and vinyl was pressed in on her; it would have suffocated her.”
But Raffelson had gotten out–and she ran back in to save the three children. Her grandmother, Darlene Raffelson, a paramedic, opened the flap to the bounce house so that Ryann could get back in. She first brought the boys out, and then crawled all the way back to find Alissa, lifting the bounce house above her head so the toddler could crawl out.
“Ryann didn’t waste any time at all. She was faster than most of the adults there,” said Lamm.
Raffelson told ABC News she was “a little bit” scared going inside the deflated house, but she felt it was something she had to do.
“They could have died,” she said. “I could get to the two boys, the girl was not that far in.”
Her father, Chris Raffelson, said helping others is an innate part of her personality.
“She doesn’t have a lot of fear, she jumps in to help whenever she can,” he said.
Lamm said he is working on having the local city government and fire department honor Ryann, and wrote a letter to the city describing her courage.
Raffelson comes from a family with a history of providing medical assistance; besides her grandmother, Raffelson’s father and aunt are paramedics, Chris Raffelson said, and her mother is an emergency room technician.
“It was an automatic reaction for us,” said Darlene Raffelson. “I work for the fire department so you step into what you can do. Ryann’s been around that her whole life.”