For all the bad things we do to one another, within every person is a strong desire to protect life. When we hear cries for help, something snaps and the bravest among us jump to the rescue.
Sometimes, even at the cost of our own safety.
And when one teen heard the screams of his neighbors one early morning, he literally put himself in harm’s way to do just that.
Antonio Senior’s apartment complex in Georgia was burning in a devastating fire.
During the early morning of April 27, a fast-moving, overnight fire was destroying a street of condos and apartments in Dekalb County, Georgia.
People who had just been sleeping found themselves trapped in apartments rapidly filling with smoke and heat.
Unfortunately, the speed of the blaze meant that some were trapped and could not escape their homes—their only option was to brave a jump from their two or three-story windows.
That was the situation one gutsy 14-year-old, Antonio Senior, found himself in as the 1310 Apartments burned.
But when he heard the cries for help, his first thought was concern for others.
HERO: When flames broke out at his apartment complex, Antonio Senior jumped into action. The young man caught residents…
The initial thought that crossed Antonio’s mind was caring about his trapped neighbors.
“Save them people,” Antonio told WSB-TV. “Don’t worry about nothing else, save them people right now.”
Antonio ran outside as firefighters were fighting the blaze. That was when he noticed one of his neighbors, a woman, was trapped on the third floor of her apartment.
“She was scared,” Antonio told WSB-TV. “I said, ‘come on baby just jump, I got you! I promise, I got you.’”
Antonio literally put himself in harm’s way in an attempt to save this woman’s life. And it was just in the nick of time, too.
The woman jumped from the fire and into Antonio’s arms.
He managed to coax the frightened woman into jumping from her window. Luckily, Antonio caught her and she sustained no serious injury.
“She was shaking and as soon as she jumped,” Antonio told WSB-TV. “She just laid in my arms, kept hugging me and said, ‘thank you, thank you, thank you.’”
But it could have been much worse; mere moments after the woman jumped into Antonio’s arms, the roof of her apartment collapsed— a timely rescue if ever there was one.
Antonio felt great pride for the part he played in the rescue efforts.
The fire continued to burn for several more hours, and it ended up destroying 20 different apartments. As part of ongoing rescue efforts, Antonio rescued two more people—three out of the six who were forced to jump from their apartments.
Thanks to the brave actions of people like Antonio, not one person lost their life.
And for the courageous teen, his role not only taught him a valuable lesson, but also was a source of great pride.
“As long as you got your life, you don’t need nothing else,” Antonio told ABC 11 News. “‘Just come. Just come.’ And she jumped. And she hugged me, kept on hugging me and I was like, ‘yeah, I did that.’”