The mother made the gut-wrenching decision to drop her two young children from a third-floor window. Some of the ordeal was caught on video.
Ashley Brown said it was a desperate split second decision and that there were some people on the ground yelling for her not to do it.
But with a fire raging outside her door and smoke filling her apartment, she said she and her children had only one way out: the window.
"It's scary. It's definitely scary, and I couldn't make my mind up for a minute. I was going back and forth," said Brown.
Brown said she's glad her fiancé is a roofer and had the rope lying around their apartment.
In a video captured on a cellphone camera, Brown can be seen releasing her 3-year-old daughter, Jada, with the rope tied around the girl.
What the video didn't show was that Brown did this three times, first with her 2-month-old son, Harvey, and then her mother.
"I tried to get my body out as far as I could out the window," said Brown. "I held him gently and I dropped him gently and he landed just fine."
Lawrence Fort stretched his arms out wide and caught the child in a big fluffy coat.
"I just told her to drop the baby, and I told her I promised her I would catch it. So I had to catch the baby," said Fort.
Firefighters came and quickly moved everyone else out of the building. Brown said the ordeal lasted 15 minutes, but it felt like an eternity.
"I'm feeling blessed that my kids came through, and that's all that mattered," said Brown.
Everyone in the family is doing fine after the fire. Two other people were hospitalized. The fire displaced about 20 people.
The cause of the blaze remains under investigation.