Baby dramatically dropped to safety after fire at apartment building in Dallas
Earlier this week, on Wednesday November 21st, a fire broke out in an apartment building in Northeast Dallas, Texas. More than 40 people were displaced thanks to the damage caused by the flames, and three individuals - one of them a firefighter attending the incident - sustained injuries.
Thankfully, nobody was killed or seriously injured in the flames, and that's partially down to the quick-thinking actions of a mother and a heroic passerby.
Shuntara Thomas, who has a one-year-old daughter, was on the third floor of the building when the fire broke out at some time around 7am. All the exits were blocked by the flames, meaning the only way out of the apartment was through one of the windows.
Thomas was terrified, of course, but she needed to do whatever she could to get herself and her baby to safety.
From the ground, Byron Campbell - a stranger who happened to be passing at the time of the fire - instructed Thomas to drop the infant from the window. And, after a little persuading, she complied.
"It was terrifying," she said. "I didn’t know if I was going to come down with her or if that would be the last time that I was holding my child."
"I didn’t want my daughter to lose her life. He told me: ‘Just trust me. I got her, I got her.’ So, without even thinking, I just dropped her."
You can see video footage of the incident here:
"I just told the mom I wouldn't drop the baby," Campbell said. "Then she let go and I caught it. I held on like a football and didn't let go."
Speaking to Fox 4, the hero said: "I went straight towards the window and saw a lady hanging her baby out of the window. After she dropped the baby, I hurried up and curled him up and caught him real good, and I hurried up and took him away from the fire and got him to the fire department lady."
It was also Campbell who alerted people on the third floor of the building about the fire, so he may have saved more than just one life.
Other quick-thinking people helped by bringing a mattress to the site, which they used to catch Thomas and four other people who had to jump to safety.
It is not yet known what started the fire, and it is unlikely that the root cause will ever be found now, as the building had to be torn down over fears about its structural integrity.
Firefighters "extinguished the fire on Ferguson Rd, but the real heroes did their work beforehand, as civilians and @DallasPD worked together to get residents to safety," the fire department tweeted.
Those who were injured in the fire were taken to hospital, and are all expected to make a full recovery.