GRESHAM, Ore. (KOIN) —- A local man saved a 9-year-old child after she was forced to jump from their 3-story apartment building, which was engulfed in flames early Tuesday morning.
Crews quickly responded to the fire at the Glendoveer Estates in Gresham around 7:15 a.m. The fire started in a ground floor apartment and escalated in a flash when a propane tank exploded.
Christin Mann and his brother — DiSean Mann — were in their 2nd-floor apartment when the fire broke out and jumped out of their window when it began to engulf the side of the apartment complex.
Once safely on the ground, Christin said his neighbor, who was in a 3rd-floor apartment, asked if he could catch his daughter — 9-year-old Azia Purdie.
“I play sports,” Christin said. “So when he said ‘Save my daughter,’ I said ‘Drop her’ and when he dropped her, I just caught her and made sure she touched the floor. I knew I was going to catch her, if I was going to fall, she was going to get caught…no matter what.”
After the incident, Azia told KOIN 6 News, “When I was first dropping down, it was scary and when he caught me, it was like okay.”
The 9-year-old also said if it wasn’t for Christin, she could have gotten seriously hurt.
“I felt comfortable about it because…if he wasn’t there, I would have probably broke something,” Azia said.
Christin said, “It felt good to know she was alright, she was out of the smoke, out of the fire.”
Christin also tried to help the Azia’s father break his fall, but he taken to the hospital with a broken ankle.
Azia’s 3-year-old sister and mom weren’t home, so both are safe although the family lost their home. A GoFundMe page has been created to help the family of 4.
Fire officials said at least 6 units were burned and there were a few injuries including a person who reportedly broke their leg after jumping from the 3rd floor. However, no deaths were reported.
The Red Cross said they were helping 19 people affected by the fire including 12 adults and 7 children.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.