A father threw his twin baby boys from the third floor of a burning building in the Bronx early Wednesday and the person who safely caught the infants is a postal employee who works in Greenwich.
Everdean Codner told NBC 4 New York that he and his wife woke to the smell of smoke and heard noise in the hallway of the home on East 220th Street. He opened the window and saw "flames gushing out" below, he said.
The family tried to climb down the fire escape, but could not make it with the 11-month-old boys, Codner said.
"I start screaming, 'Somebody help me catch this baby,' because I wasn't going to try to, like, risk it," Codner said.
A neighbor and a relative scrambled to their aid from the ground, and caught the babies one by one, Codner said.
The neighbor is Jermaine Shirley, a Greenwich postal employee.
Codner called out to Shirley, who was on the fire escape on the second floor.
"No one was below and he didn't want to start climbing down the stairs with both kids, so he started screaming for help, so I ran back there and said, 'Drop them, drop them, I'm here,'" Shirley said.
Shirley caught the infants and Codner's nephew caught them again on the first floor.
Codner and his wife then made their way down, he said. The babies were taken to the hospital and were expected to be fine.
Codner said he was supposed to be at work Wednesday when the fire broke out, but was home instead. He wonders what would have happened if he wasn't there.
"Thank God for the neighbors, for the quick response," Codner said. "One thing I was thinking, 'I hope my family makes it through.'"
Shirly is humble about his role in the rescue.
"I was just there at the right time. I just thank God that they're still alive and was able to make me think fast enough," Shirley said.