Mother, son describe 7-year-old boy's jump from burning home

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DUBUQUE, Iowa (KCRG) -- He was afraid he would break his legs. Those were the thoughts of a 7-year-old Dubuque, Iowa boy as he jumped out the window of his burning home earlier this week.

On Tuesday afternoon, Latoya Marxson was making lunch for her son, Catonious,7, when she says she got an important phone call and left the kitchen.

"I guess the pot got too hot while I was out of the room. Once the smoke detectors were going off, I came out and discovered smoke in the kitchen. I realized I couldn't get through,” said Marxson.

She then made the difficult decision to leave her son in the burning house. She ran outside and around the house to the back set of stairs.

"It was worse from the back because that's where the kitchen is. I saw the flames over here and it just like out of a movie," Marxson said.

Inside his smoky bedroom, Catonious was screaming for help.

"The neighbor downstairs told me to go to the window and I opened the front window, but I couldn't get the screen open, so I had to bust it open," said Catonious.

The first thing he did was toss his dog out the window to the police officer below. Then it was his turn to be brave.

"I was scared that no one was going to catch me and that I was going to break my legs," said Catonious.

After some convincing, Catonious leaped out the window and into the arms his mom and police officer, Dane Cox.

"I thank them and I thank the fire department," said Marxson.

The Hospital airlifted Catonious to the University of Iowa where doctors treated him for smoke inhalation and released him the next day. Now, he's just thankful to enjoy some French fries with his mom.

Catonious said he learned about what to do during a fire when firefighters visited his elementary school. Dubuque firefighters provide fire safety training to all Kindergarten and first grade students in Dubuque. They say it's a good idea to start talking with your kids about a fire escape plan when they are four or five years old.

Friends have started a GoFundMe page to help Latoya and Catonious.

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