Girls saves siblings from fire by tossing them from window

Sunday, February 24, 2008

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. -- A 12-year-old girl saved her five younger siblings during a house fire by tossing them from a second-floor window. She leapt out after them, saving herself.

The fire early Saturday in East St. Louis left one of the children, a 9-year-old boy, with burns on his arms. A relative said that child also broke his ankle in the fall.

The other children were not injured. The house was destroyed before firefighters could put out the blaze.

Their sister, Derrionna Adams, managed to reach them all in their bedrooms and get them out the window. The children range in age from 3 to 9.

East St. Louis Mayor Alvin Parks Jr. on Saturday called the girl a "true hero demonstrating tremendous courage and wisdom and insight in making sure she got her younger siblings out of that building."

The city will honor the girl, Parks said.

Velma Dorris is the children's mother. She and her husband, Bernard, were sleeping downstairs when the fire started. Smoke and fire kept them from reaching the children upstairs.

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