A Georgia firefighter made an incredible rescue after she caught a baby dropped from the third floor of a burning apartment building, according to a video of the incident.
Captain Jackie Peckrul, one of the DeKalb County firefighters who responded to the January 3 blaze at Avondale Forest Apartments in Decatur, told WAGA that the situation looked pretty dire when she arrived with her fellow firefighters.
“You immediately saw flames and you could hear their screams,” she recalled.
Instead of being deterred by the harrowing situation before her, the 14-year veteran firefighter and “supermom” of triplets sprung into action.
She climbed the fire truck ladder halfway to the third-floor balcony when she noticed what appeared to be a blue blanket falling towards her.
When she looked up, she noticed there was a baby wrapped in that blue blanket.
“That was the only thing running through my mind… ‘Lord, let me catch this baby,'” said Peckrul.
Peckrul immediately freed her hands from the ladder to catch the baby boy, tossed from the burning building by parents desperate to save their child without warning.
“I think they thought I was expecting it,” she said.
Peckrul then rescued the rest of the family of 12, which included eight children. Her colleague, Assistant Chief Jeff Crump, rescued a woman in a wheelchair from one of the buildings.
WSB reports that eight children and four adults suffered injuries, most of them minor.
Lance Ragland, the father who threw his children out of the burning apartment in the hopes firefighters would catch them, suffered second-degree burns from the blaze.
He was treated and released after an overnight stay in the hospital.
“From my end, I’m looking at a checklist, I couldn’t see what everybody else was doing,” said Ragland. “At the bottom, [it’s a] whole other world going on because they’re catching the rush that I’m sending down and I’m not giving no space.”
Displaced from their home, Ragland and his family are staying with relatives until they can recover financially.
A relative of the family started a GoFundMe page to cover rent and expenses such as baby formula and diapers for the babies.
“We’re just trying to figure out how we’re going to rebuild but we’re together and we will figure it out,” said Ragland.