Fifty firefighters were deployed to control a massive fire that broke out at Avondale Forest Apartments located in DeKalb County Wednesday.
Officials said that occupants from 20 units were rescued by the firefighters including a family of 12 with newborn twins.
In a heart-stopping video by the DeKalb County Fire Rescue Department, one can see a baby being thrown from a third-floor balcony. Fortunately, DCFR Firefighter Captain Scott Stroup was quick to catch the child.
DCFR Assistant Chief Jeff Crump said that three adults and two newborn babies were trapped in the balcony and for lack of safe exit the parents only recourse was to throw the babies to the firemen waiting below.
“The adults that were holding the babies dropped the babies to our personnel,” Crump said.
Captain Eric Jackson shared that at least two children were thrown to safety that night.
“We do know that there were at least two, there was an infant child that was thrown down prior to the kid on the video,” Jackson said.
When asked if they practice catching people like this during the rescue, Jackson admitted that they do not exactly train by tossing mannequin babies outside the window.
“It was just one of those things when you just react,” he said.
While it may be unimaginable for parents to make the decision of “tossing” their babies during a fire, Jackson said that they should:
“Trust your firefighters. This is what we do. This is what we trained so hard to do. This is what we ultimately had become firefighters to do and that is to step into the fold and to be those lifesavers when perhaps the parents cannot be or if they’re in a situation where they cannot enact or follow through with the rescue themselves… We are firefighters… We pride ourselves on being ready.”