Even on the most seemingly ordinary days, dads are heroes to their kids. Dads can magically turn a bowl of goo into pancakes shaped like Mickey Mouse, they scare the monsters away so kids can sleep soundly. When faced with potential danger, dads do everything in their power to protect their families. To J.D. Belcher though, putting your kids’ safety before your own doesn’t make you a hero – it makes you a dad.
Disaster struck for Belcher’s family in early May when their Toledo home caught fire. Heather Beringer, J.D.’s girlfriend, was startled awake at 4 a.m. to one of her three sons screaming. Gripped with fear, she realized she was surrounded by suffocating smoke.
The couple ran towards the stairs, but a wall of flames stopped them in their tracks. With time running out, J.D. turned to run back to their second-story bedroom and kicked out the air conditioning unit.
Believing Heather and their three boys were right behind him, J.D. jumped through the window to safety. After landing on the porch below and looking anxiously towards the window above, he knew something was wrong.
“About 30 seconds went by and I started to panic so I ran around and got the ladder,” J.D. told WTOL11. “By the time I got back out to the front, she had two kids out and she was out. She just looked at me and said she couldn’t find Chase.”
As Beringer ran to a neighbor’s house for help, J.D. climbed the ladder and re-entered the burning home. Pushing through the pain of his broken wrist and pelvis injured in a previous accident, he located 4-year-old Chase. Grabbing the young boy, the courageous dad jumped back through the window to safety. Thanks to J.D.’s bravery, the family of five survived.
“I’m not a hero. I’m a dad. I hope anybody would do that for their son,” he said.
The family set up a GoFundMe to help cover the cost of rebuilding their home. If you’d like to contribute, you can do so here.