Two fast-moving fires ripped through apartments and condos early Friday in DeKalb County.
Photo: JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM
Photo: JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM

‘Just jump’: Teen catches neighbor moments before burning building collapses

As two fast-moving fires ripped through apartments and condos in DeKalb County early Friday, a 14-year-old boy ran toward the building and told a woman trapped on a third floor balcony to jump.

“Come on, baby,” Antonio Senior told the woman. “Just jump. I got you.”

Antonio is credited with saving that woman, who was forced to take the leap moments before the building in the 2000 block of Ficus Court collapsed.

“She was scared,” he said. “She was shaking and said, ‘Thank you! Thank you!’” 

Antonio was standing on his balcony when he said he saw flames, called 911 and jumped into action. 

Two fast-moving fires ripped through apartments and condos early Friday near Stone Mountain. JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM

It took more than 30 firefighters to extinguish the fire from the air and the ground, DeKalb fire Capt. Eric Jackson told Channel 2 Action News. 

“We ran across at least three hydrants that had no pressure from Juliette Road,” he said.

Multiple people were displaced in the fire, which sent the second and third floors onto the first.

The Red Cross of Georgia is helping affected residents with lodging, food and clothing, according to the agency. 

 

At least two people were injured in the blaze.

Christopher Jones was asleep when he heard booming and crackling.

He said he opened his bedroom door and saw flames in his living room. Smoke came pouring into his room.

He ran to the window, opened it and jumped from the second floor.

“It hurt my left ankle, but I’m alive,” Jones said.

Wes Donaldson said he sprained a finger. He was waiting on AAA service when he saw the fire and helped Antonio convince the woman to jump.  

 

Asked what prompted him to run to the burning building after he had escaped to safety, Antonio replied: “First thing out of my mind is save these people. Right now.”

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