A 5-year-old girl is alive and safe after her grandmother saved her from a house fire. The hero, Jacqueline Roberts, is recovering at Grady Memorial Hospital after jumping to safety from the second-floor window of her Hampton, Georgia apartment.
11Alive News reports the incident occurred on March 27, around 4 p.m., at Roberts’ apartment. The 52-year-old grandmother was napping when she was startled awake by her family alerting her of the fire. She told the outlet her daughter grabbed her grandson and granddaughter and attempted to escape, walking down 17 flights of stairs.
Roberts recalled the scary moment when her granddaughter, Autumn, ran back up the stairs.
“It was so hot and my daughter shout to me, ‘Mommy, get Autumn, get Autumn,” she stated.
Shortly before, Roberts returned to her apartment to grab her identification and other items she did not want to lose to the fire. She was able to find her granddaughter through the smoke that was quickly filling her home.
Robers became emotional as she thought about what could have happened if she didn’t decide to return upstairs. “If I had gone downstairs with my daughter, my granddaughter would have been in the fire. She would have perished,” she said.
“I saw her silhouette in my son’s doorway,” she stated. “She said, ‘Grandma, get me grandma, get me grandma, don’t leave me. Save me.'”
The outlet shared that Roberts realized her only escape option was through a second-story window, about 15 feet off the ground.
“By this time, the smoke is coming now,” she said. “It’s getting a little more dangerous. She’s coughing, I’m coughing.”
She recalled grabbing the young child by the wrists and slowly lowering her out of the window.
Reliving the heroic moment, Robers said, “I kind of bent over on my window to where the front of my stomach and my pelvic bone were over [the windowsill].”
She added the young girl let out an “ouch” when she dropped her, but assured her grandmother, saying “I’m OK grandma.”
Roberts then instructed Autumn to make room for her so she could jump from the window.
As she prepared for the fall, Roberts said she was thankful it had rained that day, causing the ground to be muddy and soft.
Although the ground was soft, the fall left Roberts with two broken ankles.
“I’m on the floor laying down, and one foot is going this way, and the other foot is going this way, and my body is one way,” she said.
Possibly running on adrenaline from saving herself and her granddaughter, Roberts claimed the pain from her ankles didn’t hit her immediately.
“I had to pinch myself to make sure I am alive,” she added.”Because at that time the pain of my broken ankles did not set in. I [was] in shock.”
She was taken to Grady Hospital and received surgery on her ankles. She is currently in recovery, but not sure for how long.
Although the length of her recovery is uncertain, Roberts she and her family are alive.
“I just love my children and my first granddaughter,” she stated. “I love my grandkids. The only option I had was to save her life. Not even mine, really. I wasn’t even thinking about myself, honestly. It was to get her out because she’s only five years old. I’m 52, I’ve lived life, and she didn’t start to experience life.”
Because of her quick grandmother’s quick thinking, Autumn only suffered minor scratches.
Fire marshalls told Roberts that the cause of the fire was electrical.
Roberts lost all her material possessions but has gained a new lease on life. Through it all, she says she knows “God got her through those moments.”
“I believe in the power of God and the reason why I was calm is because he was there with me. Because the calmness came over me.”
The family has set up a GoFundMe to assist with medical bills.