'They're throwing babies’: Indianapolis mom throws children out window, jumps into strangers’ arms to escape fire

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Photo from Jamestown Court apartment fire on January 10, 2020 courtesy of IFD

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – On Monday, officials released 911 calls from an apartment fire on Indy’s northeast side last week, and the calls clearly illustrate the fear and panic felt by residents of the apartment building as they worked to get everyone out.  You can hear the terrifying moments when a mother was forced to throw her children to safety.

The fire broke out at an apartment complex in the 4500 block of Jamestown Court shortly before 10 p.m. Friday. The Indianapolis Fire Department received 12 calls within a five-minute span.

Most of the occupants safely evacuated, but a mother and her two children, a 3-year-old and a 7-month-old, were trapped on the third story of the building as it burned.

The woman told firefighters she heard the hallway smoke alarm beeping, but when she opened her door to investigate, the hallway was filled with smoke and she couldn’t evacuate.

She ran back to the front window of her apartment and yelled for help. Neighbors encouraged her to toss her children into their arms.  Having no other choice, she abided, and they worked as a group to safely catch her children.

Caller: They’re throwing babies out the window.

Dispatcher: They’re throwing the baby out the window?

Caller: Yes, we got the baby.

Then she jumped out of the window, and they caught her as well. Fortunately, no one was injured.

Dispatcher: Okay, the babies are okay. The people that are in the building, can you still see them?

Caller: Yes, she’s coming out the window.  Jumping out the window.

Dispatcher: How many stories is that that she’s jumping out the window?

Caller: *screams* They got her! They got her!

Fifty people were displaced, but thankfully no one was hurt. Fire officials believe the fire started in the kitchen of a first-floor apartment. No foul play is suspected.

Data pix.

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