As the black smoke became thicker and thicker, the children no longer had a choice. Several onlookers had gathered 40 feet below and had positioned themselves to catch the two children.
The older one hung his little brother out the window, holding him by his clothes before letting him go. The onlookers were luckily able to catch him before the elder one jumped out as well. This spectacular scene was filmed by a local resident.
Injured among the onlookers, but the children are fine
Firefighters said the two children escaped unharmed, but were taken to the hospital for tests because of smoke inhalation. Of those who caught the two children, two men were also taken to the hospital because of fractured forearms.
The mayor of Grenoble, Éric Piolle, shared a message on social networks congratulating the residents of the neighbourhood for this ‘heroic rescue'.
I would like to congratulate the residents of Villeneuve who today carried out a heroic rescue of two children trapped in their burning apartment. Hand in hand, they enabled the two little ones to escape unharmed from this tragedy. Faithful to the tradition of solidarity and mutual aid in Grenoble, which is alive and well in La Villeneuve all year round as we saw during the lockdown (food distribution, neighbourhood aid, concerts on balconies...), it was together that they were able to rescue the children. I wish a swift recovery to those who were injured during this improvised rescue.