A postman saved the lives of twin babies after he caught them when their father threw them the third floor of a burning building.
US postal worker Jermaine Shirley, 30, had managed to escape the apartment block fire with his wife and two-year-old after he smelled smoke early in the morning.
As he left, he knocked on neighbours’ doors to alert them to the danger.
But then he heard cries for help from dad Everdean Codner, 32, as he stood on the fire escape with 11-month-old sons Ishmael and Isreal and his wife Nikalia. Once he knew his own family were safe, Jermaine tried to get to the Codners.
He told local news: “I tried to make it through the front door but there was nothing but smoke, I couldn’t get through it so we went to the back window.”
The postie then told Everdean: “Drop the baby.”
Jermaine climbed up to an extension of the building in Williamsbridge in The Bronx, New York City, so that he could be closer to the children.
He said: “I was ready to catch. One of them, he kind of flipped a little because he was in a full ‘onesie’ suit, but I catch him.”
After Shirley caught one baby safely, Jermaine handed the baby to Everdean’s nephew, Euwan Lynch, 25.
Jermaine then caught the other baby and jumped down from the building’s extension.
He said: “They dropped the babies down and I catch them. I just thank God that everyone is safe – my wife and kid – everyone is safe. I would want everyone to do the same for me.”
The babies’ parents then jumped down to safety.
Everdean said: “I had to jump from the third floor fire escape, my wife had to jump from like half way down the ladder.”
The dad said the fact that he was home to help his family escape the fire was a blessing. He was supposed to be at work at the time but he overslept by accident.
And he expressed his gratitude to postman Jermaine.
He said: “I thank Jermaine for saving my babies. Now I have a second chance to be a father to my sons. It’s the best holiday gift you could ever ask for.”
The family who lives in the apartment on the second floor where the fire originated were not home.