Nieman Narrative Digest posted this (link below) with a note that it was the type of story that would normally have begun, "A four-year-old boy was rescued yesterday after the car he was riding in ..." etc.
True enough, though to be fair, this is not a next-day news story, as is made clear at the end. But I think the point to take from this is: Any time we run on a breaking news story that involves drama like this, and we cover it as a straight news story, we can go back to that story days later and re-tell it as a narrative if we can get the right sourcing and if the story's worth re-telling. And those types of stories are great reads.
The Nieman folks point out that it's really well organized, going from character-to-character and development-to-development, and that does seem like the strength of this piece.
For my taste, the first 3 grafs of the 2nd section make a good point but might be a bit overdone. I'm curious to hear what others think.
Narrative Digest : Notable Narrative : The Making of a Rescue: 17 Minutes of Terror