Bystander saves baby dropped from burning building

A Dallas man saved a baby from a burning apartment building the day before Thanksgiving when he persuaded the child’s mother to drop her from a third-story window into his waiting arms, according to news reports.

“I didn’t want my daughter to lose her life,” Shuntara Thomas told KXAS. “He told me: ‘Just trust me. I got her, I got her.’ So without even thinking, I just dropped her.”

The 1-year-old girl was caught by Byron Campbell, who was one of the first people to arrive on the scene.

Campbell told Dallas News on Wednesday that he had seen smoke coming from the apartment building, so he drove to it. He went inside, knocked on apartment doors and told people to get out.

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Homes destroyed by Southern California's Woolsey Fire
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Homes destroyed by Southern California's Woolsey Fire
A home burned down by a wildfire sits on a hilltop overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018, in Malibu, Calif. Fire officials say the lull allowed firefighters to gain 10 percent control of the so-called Woolsey Fire, which has burned more than 130 square miles in western Los Angeles County and southeastern Ventura County since Thursday. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
A table and chairs stand outside of one of at least 20 homes destroyed just on Windermere Drive in the Point Dume area of Malibu, Calif., Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018. Known as the Woolsey Fire, it has consumed thousands of acres and destroyed dozens of homes. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)
A statuary figure of a boy stands outside one of at least 20 homes destroyed just on Windermere Drive in the Point Dume area of Malibu, Calif., Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018. Known as the Woolsey Fire, it has consumed tens of thousands of acres and destroyed dozens of homes. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)
A swimming pool is behind one burned home, with others at left, some of at least 20 homes destroyed just on Windermere Drive in the Point Dume area of Malibu, Calif., Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018. Known as the Woolsey Fire, it has consumed tens of thousands of acres and destroyed dozens of homes. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)
A nearby fire truck throws red light on property burnt in the Woolsey Fire, along the coast in the Point Dume neighborhood in Malibu, California as night falls November 12, 2018. - Fire trucks are positions through out the city to respond to spot fires caused by wind-driven hot embers. Another three firefighters have been injured battling the Woolsey Fire, which has devoured mansions and mobile homes alike in the coastal celebrity resort of Malibu, while the death toll from a huge blaze in northern California rose to 42 on November 12, making it the deadliest wildfire in state history. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP) (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
The remnants of a home destroyed in the Woolsey fire are seen November 12, 2018 along Mulholland Highway in the hills above Malibu, California. - Another three firefighters have been injured battling the Woolsey Fire, which has devoured mansions and mobile homes alike in the coastal celebrity resort of Malibu, while the death toll from a huge blaze in northern California rose to 42 on November 12, making it the deadliest wildfire in state history. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP) (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
MALIBU, CA - NOVEMBER 12: All that remains of this home along Dume Drive in Malibu is the white picket fence. Dume road was hit hard by the Wolsey fire with multiple home damaged or destroyed. (Photo by David Crane/Digital First Media/Los Angeles Daily News via Getty Images)
MALIBU, CA - NOVEMBER 12: Multiple houses along Dume Drive in Malibu were destroyed or damages by the Wolsey fire. (Photo by David Crane/Digital First Media/Los Angeles Daily News via Getty Images)
MALIBU, CA - NOVEMBER 12: Multiple houses along Dume Drive in Malibu were destroyed or damages by the Wolsey fire. (Photo by David Crane/Digital First Media/Los Angeles Daily News via Getty Images)
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When he emerged from the building, he joined people who were using a mattress to help residents jump from the windows. That’s when he heard Thomas yell that she had a baby. “So I told her to drop the baby out,” Campbell said. “The baby was crying.”

After catching the baby, he said, he handed off the girl to a woman on the scene and went back to assisting others who were jumping out of the windows. Firefighters said six people escaped the burning building by going out the windows. No one was injured.

The fire destroyed 24 apartments that housed about 40 people, and the building has been demolished, KXAS reported. 

“Throwing my baby out to a complete stranger that I didn’t know ... but I do thank him because without him my child’s life would not have been saved,” Thomas told KDFW. “As long as I got my family, I’m good. So I may not have anything else, but it teaches me not to be thankful for the material things but to be thankful for everything that I do have.”

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