A mother in Fort Worth, Texas, was forced to throw her 4-month-old son from the second-floor window of her apartment as a fire raged through her building and trapped them in their home.
A maintenance worker at Marena Vasquez's apartment complex came running when he heard her screaming for help from the window while cradling her infant, Ricky (pictured below), as flames and smoke closed in. He stretched out his arms and told Vasquez to throw the child.
She had to. If she had waited any longer, it would have been too late.
"I just see all the smoke coming in from the door, and I tried to look through the peep hole and it was so dark," Vasquez told WFAA-TV in Fort Worth. "I tried to open it, but smoke hit me in the face."
Her husband, Ricardo Vasquez Jr., also a worker at the apartment complex, wasn't in the apartment at the time but heard her screams from the window.
"I took out the curtains, and I picked up the blinds and opened the window, and I looked out ... and I just see flames coming out of the apartment," Marena Vasquez said. "I said, "Oh my God!' and I yelled out, 'Help!' "
The maintenance worker who rushed to help, Antonio Olvera, caught Ricky after Marena threw him from the window. Shortly after, Ricardo Vasquez brought a ladder so that his wife could descend to safety.
"I dropped him, and he caught him," Marena said of Olvera's action. "He's our angel because if it wasn't for him, I wouldn't know what I'd do. I still would be have been stuck in that apartment.
"We are all together," she said of her family. "None of us is in the hospital or injured or anything."
Fox 4 in Dallas-Fort Worth reported that a fire in the kitchen of a first-floor apartment ignited the blaze at Vasquez's building. Sixteen units were damaged in the fire, but no one was seriously hurt.
Thanks to the maintenance worker, Vasquez's son is safe, but heroes come in all ages. A child who saved his whole family from a house fire in Beacon, N.Y., the day before Thanksgiving. Matthew Hanson, 5, used the training he learned at school to alert his mom and dad to a kitchen fire at their home.
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