Boise & Garden City

Neighbor called 911, helped Boise child who fell 5 stories

Child falls from window at Downtown Boise apartment building

A 4-year-old is in critical condition after falling from a fifth floor window in the Civic Plaza complex Tuesday, June 14, 2016. Here's a look at that six-story building.
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A 4-year-old is in critical condition after falling from a fifth floor window in the Civic Plaza complex Tuesday, June 14, 2016. Here's a look at that six-story building.

A 4-year-old Boise boy who fell from a fifth-floor Downtown apartment window Tuesday evening made it through the night and remained in critical condition Wednesday evening.

And Tiana Fuqua, the Civic Plaza resident who called 911 and tried to comfort the child while waiting for paramedics, remained in stunned disbelief.

Sitting outside the Front Street apartment building near the Ada County Courthouse during lunch hour Wednesday, Fuqua said she was in about the same spot at 6:15 p.m. Tuesday.

“I was out here smoking a cigarette and heard him,” she said. “I ran over there and called 911 immediately. I told them to hurry, that it was urgent.”

The little boy had landed on the concrete in front of the building, and he was conscious and crying, Fuqua said. Several other people gathered in the few minutes before paramedics arrived, she said, but as far as she could tell no one from the boy’s apartment came downstairs.

“I tried to console him; I rubbed his back and told him he was going to be OK,” she said quietly. “I told him paramedics were coming.”

Fuqua said she doesn’t know the boy but had seen him around the six-story apartment complex, which sits between A and B avenues on the north side of Front Street.

Boise police confirmed that the child lives in a fifth-floor apartment and updated his condition in the hospital. But they gave no details on his injuries, whether he required surgery or what happened in the moments before he fell.

Police have talked to the parent who was in the apartment Tuesday night when the fall occurred, Boise police spokeswoman Haley Williams said. She also said it’s still early in the investigation.

A window screen was on the ground where the boy landed, Fuqua said. Police have not said whether the boy fell through a screen or an open window. Other Civic Plaza residents said the screen was leaning against the building early Wednesday morning but has since been taken away.

Kristin Rodine: 208-377-6447

Thousands fall from windows each year

Nearly 5,200 children per year are injured or die after falling out of windows, according to a 2011 national study published in the journal “Pediatrics.” Most of those children are boys younger than 5, according to the study by the Center for Injury, Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. The study covered a 19-year period.

Most incidents are reported in bigger cities with taller buildings than Boise’s. One particularly famous incident happened in Manhattan in 1991 when Eric Clapton’s 4-year-old son fell from a 53rd-floor condominium and died.

Experts say parents can help prevent accidents by installing window guards to prevent them from opening wide enough for a child to get through. They also advise not placing furniture in front of windows. Shrubs and other landscaping in front of buildings can provide softer surfaces in case of a fall.

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