Toddler rescued after falling down 20-foot drain

by: Carl Willis Updated:


East Point - The East Point Fire Department used its smallest firefighter to go into a storm drain and rescue a 1-year-old child who had fallen inside.

East Point firefighters said Darnell Brown was sitting on the storm drain cover Sunday night and when he stood up, his foot slipped into the drain. He rolled about 20 to 25 feet to the bottom of the drain.

More than a dozen firefighters responded with a ladder truck and a trench rescue crew.

Firefighter Rosa Tullis is about 4'11" and squeezed into a one foot opening, without any gear, before being lowered by a harness to reach the child.

She couldn't reach him the first time but on the second attempt, she wiggled down further into the drain to reach the boy.

"He was grabbing before I even got down, and I could hardly manipulate him because he was gripping me so tightly," said Tullis.

After about 20 minutes down in the hole, she was able to lift him up over her head to crews waiting at the surface.

"I just don't know what to say. My baby is all right," said the boy's grandmother Kesha Brown.

Tullis said the hugs and looks of relief remind her why she puts her life on the line every day.

"I have boys, so it's kind of personal and it makes it all worth coming to work and being dropped down a hole to be able to hand them their baby back," Tullis said.

Darnell only received scrapes and bruises from the incident, but was taken to Egleston Children's Hospital as a precaution. He has been released from the hospital.