Mother breaks her back saving baby from fire

Mother breaks her back saving baby from fire

HAVERHILL, MASS ( Firefighters battled a large blaze at an apartment building in Haverhill for about five hours Wednesday, and a mother had to jump off a third story balcony with her baby in her arms to avoid it.

The fire broke out at about 1 p.m. at 21 Forest Acres Drive. Residents say they heard a boom just before it started. Two 12-unit buildings were affected, numbers 21 and 23. A mother and 18-month-old were lying on the ground when police arrived on the scene. Officials say, the mother had jumped three stories with her child in her arms to escape the flames. The baby, Cameron, was alert and both were transported to the hospital.

"I ran all the way to the furthest bedroom in the apartment thinking that maybe I could wait for a firefighter. I looked out the window again, I realized there wasn't going to be any time to wait for a firefighter," she said.

And in those precious seconds, there was no time for being scared. "At that point, I got up into the window and I put my legs out, and then I grabbed my son and I gave him a kiss. Told him I love him and then I jumped," Simoes explained.

She hit the ground hard, and broke her back, but she protected Cameron. "When I fell, I broke my vertebrae so, I landed on my feet. But then I fell straight to the ground. He was perfectly fine. He didn't hit anything," she said.

Heavy smoke could be seen pouring out of the building around 2 p.m., and part of the building's roof was burned away. The fire was so powerful, that flames spread to the woods behind the building and caused a brush fire. The deputy fire chief says the fire was so strong because it had a head start; it originated in the back of the building, initially hidden from view.

All of the residents were able to evacuate in time, unfortunately, some of their pets did not make it out of the buildings.

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