BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - An apartment fire turned into an amazing rescue story as a family said a teenager safely tossed both an infant and toddler from a second-story window to escape the burning building.
Officials with the Baton Rouge Fire Department said that the fire happened just before 9 a.m Wednesday at an apartment complex on Providence Place in Baton Rouge. No one was hurt, but it is something the family won't soon forget.
The fire ripped through the kitchen and spread through the unit. Courtney Vicks said she had just left to run a quick errand
"I was going to take my step daddy to work and my little sister called. She said the apartment was on fire. So all I could do was break down and cry," said Vicks.
Her 14-year-old sister was inside with Vicks' two children, a 5-month-old and 1-year-old.
"All I know is that I was asleep for a few more minutes when they were all gone," said Vicks' sister. "All I know is my niece was coughing and I know I smelled smoke and I was like, why is she coughing?"
The teen says she grabbed the children and tried to go downstairs, but it was too late. She said thick black smoke was rising quickly from the first floor. What she did next could have very well saved their lives.
"I had both of them like this, by one arm, and I was letting them breath as much air as I could, and then I was like this. 'HELP! HELP! HELP!'" said Vicks' sister.
She said the second-story window was their only way out, but they had to move fast.
"A man came and he was like 'Throw them.' I said, 'Oh my God,'" she said. "Then I threw the 5-month-old, she hit her knee, then my 1-year-old niece. He caught her."
Once the kids were safe, the 14-year-old said she jumped to the ground below. She said she rushed back inside to make sure everyone had gotten out of the burning apartment. The teen also managed to save Christmas for the little ones. Vicks is just happy her two little ones are okay.
"My kids, they could have gotten killed and that would have really hurt me. It's just very devastating," said Vicks.
Investigators believe that the fire was caused by a pot that was left unattended on the stove. Firefighters managed to contain the fire in the kitchen. The rest of the home suffered smoke damage.
The Red Cross was called in to help the family.