DECATUR, Ga. — As fire engulfed their apartment building, a 10-year-old Georgia girl stood beneath a second-story window and caught a newborn dropped to safety by its desperate mother.
Now, Zna Gresham is being hailed as a hero for catching the baby, one of three young children dropped from the window on Thursday at the Arbors at North Decatur in the Atlanta suburb of Decatur.
“The lady upstairs, she was dropping her babies,” Zna said in an interview with WSB-TV.
“I caught the newborn baby from falling, before it hit the ground I had caught it,” she said.
The family upstairs, with three young children, had no choice but to drop the three children, said DeKalb County Fire Battalion Chief Christopher Morrison.
“The smoke was rising so quickly to the upper floors, they couldn’t make their way outside their upper apartment into the hallway because of the smoke,” Morrison told WSB Radio.
“They just went to a window and they threw the child outside to the people, to the neighbors, down on the ground,” he said.
The other two children, ages 2 and 3, hit the ground and sustained minor injuries in the fall, fire officials said.
Two adults were also hospitalized, but they were also expected to survive. The blaze appeared to have started in a kitchen in a first-floor unit of the complex, authorities said.
Zna, pronounced Zah-NAY, credits her aunt with holding a door open and helping her and other relatives escape the fire, allowing her to then go outside and catch the baby.
Zna said she could barely understand what the mother in the second-floor was saying because she is Haitian and speaks a different language. But she understood enough to know that she would need to catch the baby.
“In our family we take care of our neighbors, no matter what,” Zna said.