Maria Baul re-injured a previously broken right ankle when she jumped from her second-story apartment to escape a fire, and is being helped by her boyfriend Harold Janvier. Baul tossed her newborn daughter to the arms of 10-year-old Zna Gresham to save the infant.
Maria Baul re-injured a previously broken right ankle when she jumped from her second-story apartment to escape a fire, and is being helped by her boyfriend Harold Janvier. Baul tossed her newborn daughter to the arms of 10-year-old Zna Gresham to save the infant.A maintenance man at the Arbors at North Decatur apartments in south DeKalb County boards up a window where a fire started on Thursday. A 10-year-old girl saved the life of a month-old baby who had to be thrown from a window to safety.Harold Janvier pushes the stroller carrying his newborn daughter Diana on Friday afternoon. Diana was saved from an apartment fire Thursdays when 10-year-old Zna Gresham caught her after the infant was tossed from the burning building.
Harold Janvier pushes the stroller carrying his newborn daughter Diana on Friday afternoon. Diana was saved from an apartment fire Thursdays when 10-year-old Zna Gresham caught her after the infant was tossed from the burning building.
Ten-year-old Zna Gresham was not able to breathe Thursday afternoon because black smoke filled the apartment.
She ran outside … and saw this: Her upstairs neighbor standing in a window, babies in her arms.
Zna remembers standing under that window with her arms outstretched.
“I was scared. I almost believed I couldn’t catch her,” Zna said Friday, recalling the moment the 1-month-old infant landed in her arms.
“But I did. I was so happy and relieved. It felt so good because I saved the baby.”
Fire gutted one building at the Arbors on North Decatur Road late Thursday afternoon, displacing four families.
Three children were tossed by their mother from a second-story window. Two, both of them toddlers, were slightly injured, and tiny Diana survived as a result of Zna’s quick action.
On Friday, Diana’s parents were singing Zna’s praises.
“Without her, my baby would’ve died,” Maria Baul, the mother, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Investigators believe the fire started in the apartment where Zna lived with her aunt and grandmother. Minor injuries were sustained by Zna’s grandmother and Baul, a refugee of the 2010 Haitian earthquake, re-injured an ankle that she hurt during the turmoil on the Caribbean island.
Herbert Walden, who lives next door to Baul and her husband, Harold Janvier, said Zna deserves an award.
“She certainly should get at least some kind of commendation,” Walden said.
Zna cradled the baby until her grandmother came out of the house, then gave the infant to her. She then rushed to Baul’s two boys, ages 2 and 3, after they were tossed out the window and landed on the ground, suffering minor injuries.
“God did his thing,” Zna said. “He blessed us all.”
Baul said Friday her motherly instincts kicked in when she rushed to take her three babies to the window and to safety.
“I started yelling, ‘Help! Help! Help! Help!’ And I saw three little kids run up,” she said. “Three kids were running in front of the apartment and they came up to the window.”
Baul said she asked Zna to catch each of her three as she tossed them down.
Zna was only able to break three-year-old Pierre’s fall, and the two tumbled to the ground.
Sebastian, the two-year-old, was in the hospital Friday with a neck injury, said Baul’s cousin, Stephenson Castillant.
“But (Zna) caught my Diana,” Baul said. “She did a good job! She did a great job!”
The American Red Cross of Metro Atlanta has temporarily placed the families in a nearby hotel.
Walden said the families won’t be able to recover quickly on their own.
“We can’t bounce back from this easily,” he said. “We’re going to need some help.”
Zna is going into the fifth grade. She doesn’t know where she will be attending school in the fall because she doesn’t know where she will be living.
“Because we didn’t have renters insurance, we can’t get another apartment unit,” said Tasha Allen, who is Zna’s aunt. “Now, we have to pay for the damages.”
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Dozens of shots were fired in a Thursday night gun battle that spanned an entire block of Parkway Drive between Ponce de Leon and North avenues, but Atlanta police say no one was struck by the gunfire.