January 3 could have been a much more devastating night for a family in Georgia’s DeKalb County in the United States, if it weren’t for the DeKalb County Fire Rescue Department. Amid a raging fire in an apartment building in which a dozen occupants were trapped, two firefighters saved the lives of two children by catching them as they were thrown down from the second floor.
A dramatic video (above) captured by a firefighter’s helmet camera shows the heart-stopping yet miraculous moment Captain Scott Stroup caught a five-year-old child thrown down by her father. The father, who was apparently on fire himself, was descending a ladder when he dropped his flailing daughter into the arms of the firefighter. Though a woman could be heard screaming in panic in the background, the firefighter deftly caught the child and rushed her to safety.
Another firefighter, Captain Jackie Pekrul, caught another child – this time a baby wrapped in a blanket – while she was climbing a ladder. She miraculously managed to catch the baby even as she balanced on the ladder. She said, “My plan was to actually get up on the balcony with them so that I could help them get on the ladder and help somebody else assist them down. But I got about halfway up there and here comes the baby down to my arms. All I was thinking was, ‘Oh, god, don’t drop it!’ I don’t really feel like a hero; I don’t think any of us do; it’s our job. I couldn’t be anything else. It makes me a better mom, and being a mom probably makes me a better firefighter.”
Ultimately, with the help of the firefighters, the father managed to save his eight children as well as three other members of the family. “We were catching babies like a football – literally,” DeKalb County Fire Rescue Captain Eric Jackson told local television station WGCL-TV.