ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) – A massive fire at an apartment complex in Atlanta last week had firefighters racing to the scene.
Part of their effort was tossing and catching children from a burning building.
“We did what we had to do, and the thing is, that everybody there knew what they had to do,” said Dekalb Fire Capt. Jackie Peckrul.
It’s a moment which Peckrul will never forget.
“All I was thinking was, oh God, don’t drop it,” she said.
She responded to a massive fire at the Avondale Forest Apartments in Decatur, Georgia last week and saved a child’s life.
“I started going up the ladder. My plan was to actually get up on the balcony with them so that I could help them get on the ladder and have somebody else assist them down, but I got about halfway up there and here comes a baby down to my arms,” she said.
She caught a baby, which was tossed from a third-floor balcony engulfed in flames.
It was one out of a dozen people rescued that day by the crew at Dekalb Fire Station No. 3
“It was hot,” Peckrul said. “You could feel it from the ground, and they don’t have the gear on, so they were just ready for us to come get them.”
Their incredible bravery saved multiple lives. It’s quite an accomplishment for this mother of triplets, who is also a hero.
“I don’t really feel like a hero,” Peckrul said. “I don’t think any of us do. It’s our job, and we are so fortunate to work for Dekalb County, who prides training and equipment. and we have a brotherhood here, and we work really well together.”
“I couldn’t be anything else, and it makes me a better mom, and being a mom probably makes me a better firefighter,” she added.
Dekalb fire officials continue to investigate the cause.
One firefighter did suffer injuries but is recovering.