Firefighter Reunites With Girl He Caught, Saved

DECATUR, GA — A DeKalb County firefighter has been reunited with the 5-year-old girl he saved after her father dropped her from the third story of an apartment building that was burning down.

The family of 5-year-old Destiny Nelson visited with DeKalb County Fire Capt. Scott Stroup at his fire station in a meeting that was captured on video by ABC News. Stroup’s amazing catch was captured on helmet-cam video and was actually just one of several amazing saves made as firefighters battled the Jan. 3 blaze at Avondale Forest Apartments in Decatur.

"It is so good to meet you. Can I have a hug?" Stroup says to Destiny before they embrace. "Thank you so much."

The video shows Destiny and her siblings playing in the fire station and getting a tour of a fire truck. Her youngest sibling, a newborn, also had to be dropped out of the flaming building and was caught by another firefighter — Capt. Jackie Peckrul — who was climbing up a ladder at the time.


Stroup told ABC that fighting fires is never easy, but the Jan. 3 blaze that displaced roughly 50 people and sent a dozen to the hospital was particularly tough.

"This fire was very emotional to me," Stroup said to ABC. "Anybody trapped in a fire is emotional. But when you hear children screaming, that right there, that amps up the adrenaline."

During the meeting, Stroup deflected any praise for himself, instead crediting Destiny’s dad with getting her out of the burning apartment and having the faith to drop her to Stroup.

"You’re daddy is very, very, very brave," he said to her. "Your daddy saved your life."

Amazingly, no one died in the fire. Eight children and four adults were taken to hospitals with minor injuries in the blaze, which was reported at about 5 a.m. on Pine Tree Circle near Memorial Drive. Most of the injuries were due to smoke inhalation, according to DeKalb County Fire and Rescue.

Stroup injured his leg fighting the fire, and can be seen in the video carrying Destiny to safety on his knees.

Firefighter reunited with the girl he caught during a raging apartment fire: — Watch the reunion on Channel 2 Action News at 6:46 a.m.— WSB-TV (@wsbtv) January 22, 2018

Photo courtesy DeKalb County Firefighters Local 1492

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