Firefighter reunited with child thrown from apartment during raging fire

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — Dramatic video captured the moment a child was thrown off a ladder and caught by a heroic firefighter weeks ago. Now, the two have reunited.

Channel 2 Action News was there when DeKalb County Fire Capt. Scott Stroup met the little girl this weekend.

The fire ripped through the Avondale Forest Apartments on Jan. 3.

Helmet camera video showed the moment the girl was dropped down to a firefighter as the flames roared around them.


Stroup said catching 5-year-old Destiny Nelson after she was thrown from the third floor of a burning apartment was an emotional experience.

Destiny's father dropped her from the third floor of the burning building in an effort to save her from the flames.

“This fire was very emotional for me. Anyone trapped in a fire is horrible, but when you hear children screaming, that right there amps up the adrenaline,” Stroup said.

Stroup was reunited with Destiny on Monday.

"It is so good to meet you. Can I have a hug?” Stroup asked Destiny, picking her up in his arms.

Destiny was all smiles as she met her hero.  Stroup said meeting Destiny reminded him why he became a firefighter.

"Very seldom do we get to make that personal connection. If I retire today I would have had a fulfilled career," Stroup said. “To see the family and how appreciative they are and see the children playing with their siblings, my heart's filled.”

Local charities have stepped in to help the nearly 80 people who lost their homes in the fire.