Courtesy KOAT Action 7 News
A construction worker in Albuquerque, New Mexico, recently played a major role in getting a baby girl and a toddler out of a burning building and to safety. Mason Fierro and the rest of his crew were working on a roof when the apartment complex next door burst into flames.
“We heard the father scream — like a scream we have never heard before. When we heard that, we ran over as soon as possible,” Fierro told CNN.
With smoke pouring out of the building and a desperate father hanging out of a window with his baby in his arms, Fierro and the rest of the workers stepped into action. Video shows the construction workers, noticeable in their reflective vests, scrambling to prop up their ladders on the outside of the building. Fierro himself went straight to the father and his infant.
“My first thought was just to get under him and tell him he needs to drop his baby girl so I can catch her and get her away from the fire,” Fierro said in an interview with the local Albuquerque news.
Fierro was right to prioritize getting the children out of the building as soon as possible, as smoke inhalation causes more than half of fire-related deaths and is especially harmful to developing lungs. While the crew set up ladders against the building, Fierro communicated to the father, Gabriel Loscano, that he should drop the baby out of the window.
“He was telling me, ‘drop her, drop her!” And I was like, who wants to drop their daughter out of a burning building?” Lascano said. “Nobody wants to drop their daughter out of a window.”
Lascano was able to lean out of the window and drop his baby girl a few feet to the safety of the parking lot below. Fierro caught the infant in his arms and handed her off to his friend and fellow construction worker Jermaine Gallien before going back to help lower Lascano’s other child, a toddler, from the window as well.
“Just seeing him catch that baby girl and baby boy, it touched me. He stepped up and really became the hero of the day,” Gallien said of Fierro.
Lascano and his wife, Candace Holmes, were eventually able to escape the building by climbing down the ladders that the rest of the crew had set up. They and their children were unharmed, although the children were taken to a nearby hospital for smoke inhalation treatment. Just one other person from the apartment complex was hospitalized.
The Lascanos have since publicly thanked Fierro and given him a $400 “pay it forward” reward. Fierro plans to use the reward to take his crew out to lunch.
“Those kids are alive because of what those construction workers did quickly and concisely,” Albuquerque Fire Rescue spokesman Lt. Tom Ruiz told CNN.