Firefighter catches child thrown from burning building

'We were catching babies like footballs', says firefighter

Chris Baynes
Tuesday 16 January 2018 11:33
Firefighter catches child thrown from burning building

Heart-stopping footage shows the moment a firefighter caught a child thrown from the second floor balcony of a burning flat.

The young girl’s father dropped her from the second floor as they escaped their apartment as flames tore through the building on the outskirts of Atlanta, Georgia.

She was caught by firefighter Scott Stroup and survived unscathed.

The girl was one of 12 people, including eight children, rescued from the blaze. A baby aged just months old was also thrown from the building wrapped in a blanket.

Captain Eric Jackson, of DeKalb County Fire Rescue, said: “We were catching babies like footballs, literally.”

Screaming can be heard almost constantly in the helmet camera footage, posted on social media by the local firefighters’ union.

Mr Stroup, wearing breathing apparatus, is seen catching the girl as flaming debris falls around him. He carries her away from the building before dropping to his knees and laying her on the ground.

The girl’s father, Lance Ragland, suffered second-degree burns. His newborn baby was also dropped from the building and caught by firefighter Jackie Peckrul.

The firefighter told Fox 5 Atlanta: “That was the only thing running through my mind... ‘Lord, let me catch this baby.’

“My hands came off the ladder and I got them.”

Moments later Mr Stroup caught the child’s older sibling.

“There’s no better feeling in the world,” Ms Peckrul said. “Never want to see any parent lose a child.”

No one died in the 3 January blaze but 20 flats were gutted, leaving 79 people homeless.

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