One armed, one legged man Fidel Morales saved two children from a burning home Monday after a candle caught the basement of his apartment building on fire.
The 54-year-old woke up when he first smelled the burning candle and rushed upstairs to rescue his wife, their 17-month-year-old son and their one-month-old niece.
Morales shoveled his family onto the second floor balcony and saw the neighboring family crying from their own. Morales demanded that the neighbor hand over his children too, insisting that there was no time to waste.
According to Francine Valmont, a neighbor, Morales dropped both children from the balcony.
“I saw him standing there and the baby was hanging on from his hands,” Valmont said, “so I started to scream.”
Both children were rescued successfully.
“I just reacted,” Morales said. “I had to get my family out.”
When both children were safe, Morales climbed off the balcony and to the ground with one arm and one leg.
Morales was taken to Jacobi Hospital along with his wife and others. In total, 12 people were injured and two were in critical condition.
Morales, an NY Department of Corrections employee, is expected to be released Tuesday.