It is not the good things in life that defines us, but the things we do in times of adversity. When a fire engulfed an apartment in Dallas, Texas, a group of young men quickly responded to help the people who were trapped. Thanks to their strong sense of compassion and sharp minds, six lives were saved that day from the burning apartment. It is their ingenuity while doing their act of heroism that makes their story all the more glorious.
It was early in the morning on November 21, 2018 that the fire started to consume the upper floors of the apartment. Fortunately, the second-floor resident, Charlie Wilson, took notice of the fire and alerted his co-residents by banging on their doors. The loud noises that he made woke up the other sleeping residents, giving them the opportunity to vacate the burning building.
At the same time, the first-floor resident named Jerrell Worthy, who just started living in the apartment building, made use of her big mattress to save the life of the people living on the upper floors.
“I hollered for a guy to help me drag my one big mattress out for the people to jump down on,” Jerrell recounted the events on an interview. “I had just got that big, thick mattress, but I was glad to get it used that way.”
On the other hand, the 21-year-old Bryan Campbell who was simply driving by also noticed the fire and without second guessing himself, the young man rushed over to the burning building to help rescue people.
Fortunately for Shuntara Thomas, a young mother living on the third-floor, Bryan Campbell heard her call for help. She was on the third-floor window with her baby in her arms when Bryan noticed her.
“The young mother was holding her baby and yelling, ‘Can somebody catch my baby?’” Bryan narrated the breathtaking rescue mission he experienced. “I just said, ‘Trust me, I’ll catch her!’ My first reaction was ‘Don’t let this baby hit the ground.'”
Although Shuntara does not know Bryan personally, she entrusted the life of her baby and dropped her child out of the window for Bryan to catch.
“After she dropped the baby I hurried up and curled him up and caught him real good. And I hurried up and took him away from the fire and got him to the fire department lady,” Bryan continued.
“I didn’t want my daughter to lose her life,” Shuntara said, sharing her version of the event that unfold. “Throwing my baby out to a complete stranger… Without him my child’s life would not have been saved,” she said.
After Bryan successfully caught and rescued Shuntara’s baby, he and the other brave men continued their quest of saving other residents using Jerrell’s over-sized mattress. They saved five more residents who jumped from the third floor, trusting these young men with their lives.
“Everybody held the mattress on both sides and we told everybody just aim for the mattress,” Darren Hicks, who was simply visiting a friend and helped out during the rescue, narrated.
Thanks to the people who did not think twice to help rescue the residents of the burning apartment, everyone living in the 24-unit apartment escaped. Only 2 residents and 1 firefighter suffered non-life-threatening injuries and were brought to the hospital.
After the incident, the Dallas Fire-Rescue Department honored the civilians whose wit and kind hearts managed to successfully save the lives of 6 people. Their Twitter post read:
“Dallas Fire Rescue has extinguished the fire on Ferguson Rd, but the real heroes did their work before hand, as civilians and @DallasPD worked together to get residents to safety. 6 people, including a baby, jumped from the 3rd floor while they held mattresses on the ground.”
Indeed, without the heroism shown by these courageous and quick-thinking young men, things may have had a different and tragic ending. Fortunately, they were in the right place at the right time. And they did not hesitate to risk their own lives to save others.
Watch the video below and see how the brave men of Dallas, Texas worked together to save lives of people trapped in a burning apartment. May their heroism inspire us to respond to alarming situations with the wit, bravery, and kindness they have displayed!
Video | The Dallas Morning News