INDIANAPOLIS — It was a harrowing scene from a burning apartment on the city's northeast side Sunday evening, but it took the courage of neighbors who banded together and saved a child's life.
"The smoke was so powerful that it was just keeping us from being able to go inside, so it was like everybody was hesitating," explained Anthony Williams.
The fire began at an apartment complex near E. 42nd St. and Post Rd.
A teenager managed to get out through the front door and three of his siblings jumped out from an upstairs window, but another child was stuck on the second floor.
Firefighters with Indianapolis Fire Department said that's when Williams, 24, jumped on his friend's shoulders and stretched to reach the window. Williams grabbed the child and pulled her outside.
"She was breathing hard," Williams said. "She was covered in black smoke, so it was just crazy. I was just glad that I was able to get out of there at the right time because if the firefighters came later, they wouldn't have been able to save her. We don't know what would have been going on. We don't know how bad the fire was on the inside and it was just crazy."
Williams and other witnesses said many neighbors crowded around the burning apartment to help as the chaos unfolded.
Neighbor Malcolm Mitchell, said he's proud of the community for coming together.
"Without community effort, I would say we wouldn't have been able to do it. Somebody called the police. Somebody helped get the kids. Somebody helped put the baby on the ground. Everybody played their role. Everybody came together and was able to help those kids I would say," said Mitchell.
The children were taken to Riley Hospital where one remains in critical condition. The other three are doing okay.
IFD said the cause of the fire was an accident from food cooking on the stove.