Mother helps save children from raging fire

Posted by Samuel King - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - A mother risked her own life to save her children from a fire.  It happened late Wednesday night at Hopper Gardens Apartments.

Rhonda Henson and her two children were sleeping when her fiancé first spotted the flames.

"I woke up to hear him screaming his feet are on fire and he's actually in the hallway screaming for me to get up and get the kids out of the house," Henson said.  "I ran into the flames into my kids room and grabbed them both…we had no way out."

Henson and her fiancé then dropped the kids out the window, but not before their neighbor, Irma Torres-Hernandez ran to help.   She caught the kids as Henson and her fiancé dropped them from the second story window.

"I caught them with my hands," Torres-Hernandez said in Spanish.  "I didn't want them to fall."

"She's always been a help to me and I've always tried to help her and her motherly instinct was for her to come running," Henson said.   "And I thank God I was able to get my babies out of there."

Then it was time for Henson to make her escape.

"I felt heat on my back and so my only instinct was to dive out the window.  And when I did so, the way I landed broke me two vertebrae in my back."

Her fiancé had burns on his legs. The kids, a four year girl and a one and half year old boy, were not injured.  They're staying with their aunt as Henson figures out what to do next.  The fire that spared their lives, but destroyed everything they owned.

Officials with the Montgomery Fire Department told WSFA 12 News they had not determined a cause, but said the fire was likely accidental in nature.  If you would like to help the family, you can contact the Hopper Gardens Apartments.

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