Firefighter lends mask to mom escaping burning apartment with young children

A mother and her 7-year-old and 4-month-old sons were trapped inside their apartment when fire crews arrived on the scene of a blaze at the Pavillion Place Apartments on Cleveland Avenue.
A mother and her 7-year-old and 4-month-old sons were trapped inside their apartment when fire crews arrived on the scene of a blaze at the Pavillion Place Apartments on Cleveland Avenue.

An Atlanta firefighter gave up his own mask to help a mother escape from the second floor of a burning apartment building Friday morning.

With fire raging on the first floor of the Pavillion Place Apartments on Cleveland Avenue, smoke was rising quickly, fire officials told Channel 2 Action News. The mother, a small child and a baby were trapped inside their apartment when fire crews arrived about 1:30 a.m.

The mother, Tranisha Wilcox, told AJC.com she woke up to the sound of fire alarms and the smell of smoke.

“I got up and ran to the front door, and when I opened it, smoke hit me in the face,” she said.

Wilcox said she closed the door and took her 7-year-old and 4-month-old sons to her bedroom.

She banged her hand on a small window in her closet to signal to firefighters that she was inside the apartment, she said.

One firefighter climbed a ladder and busted out the window to get to the family.

“The window was small where they were trying to come out, so he had to break the window, and then he had to climb through the window to get in there,” battalion Chief Don Cole told Channel 2 from the scene.

Wilcox passed her children to fire crews below, but she needed help to get out. The firefighter gave her his mask for much-needed oxygen and helped her out the front door and down a flight of stairs.

“We just do our job,” Cole said of the firefighter’s actions. “It's what we love to do.”

Wilcox, her children and the firefighter were taken to a hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation. All are expected to be OK.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Wilcox said the fire has left her with smoke and water damage throughout her apartment. Her family has set up a GoFundMe page to help with the costs of repairs.

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