Girl saves 3-year-old brother during fire

June 6, 2013 2:15:59 PM PDT
A mother and her children were trapped in their burning Brooklyn apartment.

One of the children, an 11-year-old girl, had to throw her 3-year-old brother from the fire escape.

"I was hysterically crying. Like I'm going to be honest, I was hysterically crying," said Janixia Soto, 11 years old.

But even her own fear, didn't keep 11-year-old Janixia Soto from saving her 3-year-old brother's life when fire raced through their Park Slope South apartment building early Thursday morning.

Janixia's family was forced from their third floor unit and onto the fire escape, but when they got to the lowest ledge, the ladder jammed.

That's when Janixia had to make a tough call.

"They were all telling me to drop him and first it was just one person so then I was like, I wasn't sure. So then they got people to like gather around and make a little parachute for the baby. So I dropped him and he landed right in the middle," Janixia Soto said.

Once 3-year-old Walter landed safely, Janixia says just minutes later firefighters rescued her and her mother.

Now the family, like everyone else, has to find a new home.

As for the quick thinking, that got her younger brother to safety, she says she just did what anyone else would have done.

"A lot people are telling me that I'm some kind of hero, but it's like at the end of the day, you'd probably do the same thing for your family," Janixia Soto said.