CERES (CBS13) — A father’s split-second decision to throw his child from a window to save her from an apartment fire still has him shaken.

Jason Avila is relieved to be sitting with his family after a fire at their apartment on Monday could have torn them apart.

“My family means the world to me,” he said. “One of the scariest things you have to do as a dad ever.”

Flames rushed through the building off of Richland Avenue, collapsing the roof. The only way out for Avila and his family was through the second-story bedroom window.

“To my knowledge, there wasn’t any firefighters around yet so it was that or the alternative,” he said.

He and his wife were prepared to jump, but how would they get their 11-month-old baby Roxanne to safety? That’s when Avila says he had to make the tough decision and throw his daughter out the window.

Two bystanders watching the fire reached up for the baby.

“If they wouldn’t have caught her, she could have been injured pretty bad,” he said.

He was nervous, but he leaned out as far as he could and tossed her into the hands fo the men below.

“I kind of swung her and they caught her perfect,” he said. “It was amazing.”

He and his wife would jump down into a bush below. They have some bumps and bruises, but Roxanne doesn’t have a scratch on her.

Her parents are grateful to the men who gave their daughter another day—her first birthday on Wednesday.


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