Use Code BALT69 for a $69 Ticket to One Day University on July 9

Street could be renamed after boy who died trying to save his siblings from a fire

A Baltimore councilman plans to push a measure to rename a street after the 8-year-old boy who died after trying to save his siblings from a fire in the family's rowhouse.

Decerio Coley threw his 4-year-old sister from a window into the arms of neighbors below when the fire spread through the house early Monday morning. While neighbors shouted at the boy to jump, too, Decerio instead went back in to save his brother, Sean McCullough, 7. The 7-year-old was killed, while Decerio was critically injured and taken off life support the next day. The younger sister, however, survived unharmed.

City Councilman William A. "Pete" Welch said he plans to introduce a resolution to have the Franklin Square street where the rowhouse fire broke out, the 300 block of N. Bruce St., renamed after Decerio. "It's the least you could do in a situation like that," Welch said.

Welch said several years ago he helped rescue a woman from a house fire in Baltimore, and remembered taking a whiff of the superheated air inside where the fire raged and how painful it felt.

"Knowing how that felt, that this little boy, 8 years old, went back in to get the other sibling... That's character, that's heroism, that's beyond anything I can imagine," he said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation by the Baltimore Fire Department. If the children are determined to have been killed by the fire, they would be the 9th and 10th fire deaths in the city this year.

Welch said getting a block ceremonially renamed in someone's honor is a quick process and that he hoped a sign could be installed before the funeral for the two boys set for later this month.

Earlier this year, an East Baltimore street was similarly renamed after eight-year-old Troy Douglas, who was crushed to death when the wall of an East Baltimore home collapsed after a gas explosion in February.

Copyright © 2019, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad