ST. LOUIS — A man saved a 3-year-old girl whose mother tossed her out of a second-floor window to escape a fire at an apartment building in north St. Louis.
Arnez Merriweather is not seeking attention for his actions. He said he only wanted to help his fellow apartment residents escape danger.
As smoke started filing the hallways of his apartment unit at the Hillvale Apartment complex on Selber Court in north St. Louis Monday morning, Merriweather ran outside and stayed calm. A family on the second floor needed help.
The smoke was too thick for Merriweather to run back inside. He encouraged the mother to drop her 3-year-old into his arms. Merriweather safely caught the girl and then grabbed the child’s mother as she climbed out of the second-floor window.
“She jumped, and I grabbed her,” said Merriweather.
He said the child’s grandmother was next to come out. She climbed out of the second-floor window as he grabbed her and the two fell to the ground. The family was transported to an area hospital and are expected to be okay.
After that rescue, Merriweather said he and others grabbed nearby maintenance ladders and helped several more residents to safety.
“It’s just really heartening to see in a time where folks are really concerned about clicks, likes, and follows, that instead of capturing footage, this young man actually went into action to help his neighbors,” said Capt. Garon Mosby of the St. Louis Fire Department.
Merriweather credits meditation and jogging for his ability to stay calm under fire. He said, “I’m just glad everybody is okay. The clothes and material stuff you can replace.”
The American Red Cross is assisting families displaced by the fire. The cause of the fire is under investigation. Mosby said the fire started in units that were not occupied but caused damage in other units were residents were living.