An eight-year-old girl in Chicago whose mom was at work tossed a mattress from her third-story window when a fire broke out and jumped on it to escape, a fire official stated Thursday.
“Firefighters who arrived at the burning apartment on the city’s South Side just before midnight Wednesday found the girl safe outside,” the Associated Press (AP) reported.
The first responders rescued two other children who were inside the home, including the girl’s younger brother, who was standing at the window ready to follow his sister, and another two-year-old boy, according to the fire department.
District Chief Frank Velez said he was impressed by the girl’s quick thinking in such a dangerous situation and described her idea as “quite innovative.”
“You’d be surprised on what an individual can do when you’re in that sympathetic and parasympathetic stage of fight or flight,” he said.
“They’re thinking to save themselves one way or another and obviously you have to give a credit to the kid for really thinking of something like that,” the chief continued.
The Chicago Fire Department shared photos Thursday of the mattress lying on the pavement below the window:
6147 Wabash apartment fire . The children a girl age ten and two boys 4 and 2 were inside. The girl threw a mattress from third floor window and jumped. 4 year old rescued at window by ladder. CFD also got 2 year old from inside all taken to Comer serious. No adult at home. pic.twitter.com/Prbu8cPwBu
— Chicago Fire Media (@CFDMedia) March 18, 2021
The two boys sustained no injuries but the girl reportedly suffered an injury to her ankle.
Fire department spokesman Larry Langford said it appeared to be a kitchen fire, adding, “There were no adults in the apartment at the time, but the mother was nearby.”
Police spokeswoman Kellie Bartoli told reporters there were no charges pending against the kids’ mother, noting that a neighbor was babysitting them at the time.
However, Velez stated he did not know if the neighbor was inside the apartment when the fire broke out.
Following the incident, the children were transported to Comer Children’s Hospital in stable condition.
Although the Chicago Fire Department initially said the girl was ten-years-old, Langford clarified that she is eight.
According to Velez, the cause of the fire is still under investigation.