WEST MEMPHIS, AR (WMC) - West Memphis Fire Department battled flames at an apartment complex on South Avalon Street on Thursday.
WMFD said three people, two adults and a baby, were rescued from a balcony inside the Riverbend Apartments.
A West Memphis firefighter stepped up to the plate and did something extraordinary in order to save the life of an infant baby girl at the apartment. Although firefighters are trained and ready to save lives, it's the unusual way this firefighter saved this young life that has everyone talking.
"The smoke was tremendous," West Memphis Fire Department Battalion Chief Charles Stover said.
Thick plumes of smoke rose from the windows of the apartment as Lieutenant Anthony Miller and his engine company were the first on the scene.
"As soon as I got off the truck, I seen a family up on the second level and the lady was holding an infant," Miller said.
With the black smoke all around the family on the balcony, Miller knew he didn't have long. He made a split second decision. He asked the family to toss the infant to him.
"I just told them 'throw the baby. Just throw the baby," Miller said.
The family complied - and dropped the infant safely into Miller's arms.
Firefighters said the baby's mother and another adult were brought to safety moments later with a ladder. Miller said that was the only time in 22 years he has had to catch a baby from a burning building.
"She was pretty calm. More calmer than me," Miller said.
Now, everyone is singing this firefighter's praises.
"I would give him a round of applause. He did a great job," Renicka Lotefieod said.
"That's a hero. He's done a great job. I'm proud of him and that's what we get paid to do," Stover said.
The family is still picking up the pieces of their apartment. But, no one had to leave in the back of an ambulance - thanks to Lt. Miller. However, he will not accept the credit.
"Doing my job. That's about it," he said. "That's what we do."