FORT WORTH -- A wild scene played out at a Fort Worth apartment fire Friday afternoon, as a woman dropped her baby from a second-floor window to a man waiting below who caught the child before her husband checked the complex to make sure the other residents were safe.
The Fort Worth Fire Department was dispatched to the one-alarm blaze at the Antigua Village Apartments in the 5300 block of East Rosedale Street at 1:46 p.m. Friday, but by the time they arrived they found friends and co-workers had already pitched in to save a family from their second-floor apartment.
Marena Vasquez had just finished feeding her four-month-old son when she heard yelling and smelled smoke. The fire was on the first floor and spreading quickly.
Ricardo Vasquez, Marena's husband, was walking home with co-worker Miguel Rojas for lunch when he saw the smoke coming from an apartment in his building. He saw his wife standing at the window of their apartment yelling for help.
Ricardo ran up to his apartment through the heat and smoke as he told Rojas to get a ladder. By the time Ricardo reached his apartment, Marena had wrapped the baby in a blanket and was calling to another worker at the complex, Antonio Overa to catch the baby.
Overa successfully caught the baby before Rojas arrived with a ladder, which Marena and Ricardo climbed down to safety.
After his family was safe, Ricardo went around the building to make sure all the tenants were out.
A fire department investigator determined the cause of the fire was accidental due to unattended cooking. Nine adults and four children were displaced, and the Red Cross is assisting them.
Ricardo Vasquez suffered smoke inhalation, but refused further treatment and was released at the scene. Marena Vasquez and the couple's child were unharmed.