A honeymooning couple are being hailed as heroes for saving 20 babies from a burning nursery in Spain.
David Squillante and Doran Smith, both 38, of Bristol, Rhode Island, were on their way to a park in Barcelona on Sept. 28 to celebrate their belated honeymoon when Smith noticed women screaming from a flaming kindergarten entrance, prompting the couple to to jump into action.
Squillante, 38, ‘immediately threw his backpack and ran across the street’ into the building from another entrance.
“I just ran in and saw a bunch of babies sleeping and screaming,” said Squillante, who comes from a family of firefighters. NBC News.
The groom, who speaks very little Spanish, said ‘instinct took over’ as he ran into the burning building and straight into the smoke-filled playroom.
David Squillante and Doran Smith, both 38, from Bristol, were on their way to a park in Barcelona when Smith noticed a nearby nursery was on fire and women screaming from a flaming entrance, prompting them to spring into action on September 28
Squillante immediately ‘threw his backpack and ran across the street’ into another entrance and immediately began handing children to his wife and putting more in cribs to wheel them out (pictured)
The nursery staff helped them pull the children out of the nursery. When asked why staff had not evacuated the building yet, Smith told DailyMail.com: ‘There were no flames in the nursery so I think the staff were just trying to find out where the smoke was coming from and trying to decide to. what to do’
They managed to get the children to safety at a local high school across the street, and the couple believe no one was hurt
Smith, who married Squillante in 2020, told DailyMail.com she didn’t know how the fire started or how long it lasted before the couple arrived, but they believe it was an ‘electrical fire in the walls’.
“However, it seemed like we passed just as the chaos began.”
Squillante began placing about 20 children in cribs as the smoke grew heavier and wheeled them out to his new wife, all the while trying to calm the nursery staff.
He found one of the children in a playhouse and handed the baby over to his partner, who said the baby seemed scared but wasn’t crying like the others and pinched her finger when she held them.
Smith told DailyMail.com that staff had likely not evacuated the building yet because ‘there were no flames in the nursery.’
‘I think the staff were just trying to figure out where the smoke was coming from and trying to decide what to do.’
“We couldn’t speak the language, but there was a universal language — we were all just trying to help,” said Smith, who is a software engineer. Boston Globe.
As others jumped in, they began passing babies down a line out of the building and into a local high school across the street. The whole process took about 10 minutes, the couple said.
The honeymooners left shortly after firefighters arrived and believe no one was injured.
The couple then went straight to their park tour, showing up about 30 minutes late.
The surreal experience only hit them later, they said.
While on the ride, they turned to each other and said, ‘remember that time we saved a bunch of babies?’
“It felt like we were watching it in a movie, it just didn’t feel right,” Squillante, who works in food sales, told the Globe.
Immediately after, they continued on their park tour, which they showed up to 30 minutes late. It wouldn’t hit them until later when they turned to each and said, ‘Remember that time we saved a bunch of babies?’
The couple married in October 2020, but did not take their honeymoon until September 2022 due to the pandemic
Smith said the moment her husband ran into the building without a second thought was when she realized he was the person to have around in an emergency.
Squillante has a knack for being in the right place at the right time – as this was not his first experience saving lives by accident.
In another close rescue, he and a paramedic stopped a man from jumping an overpass while Squillante just cruised around unfamiliar roads on his motorcycle.
The selfless bystander also once went out in the rain to help find his friend’s missing dog – only to locate a passed out man while on a bike ride and the missing dog.
Since the fire, the food vendor said he is considering following in his father and grandfather’s footsteps and becoming a volunteer firefighter.