An 11-year-old Brooklyn girl saved her 3-year-old brother by tossing him from the fire escape of her burning building Thursday morning, into the arms of neighbors below.
Janixia Soto says she woke up to the smell of smoke, and alerted her mom and younger brother, Walter. The fire escape was the only way out of their fourth-floor apartment.
So the girl helped her family, including their dog and cat, get out.
"I was just thinking in my head, 'I hope this works, I hope this works, I hope this works,'" she told NBC 4 New York.
They started making their way down, but at one floor above street level, they encountered a ladder that was stuck.
Janixia looked down and saw neighbors below. She threw her brother off the fire escape, into their arms.
"My main concern was to get him to safety because I know how damaging smoke can be to younger children," she said.
Firefighters arrived and helped the rest of the family to safety.
She's being called a hero, but she says she's just a big sister who was calmly protecting her brother.
"No time for me to stress and cry, no time at all," she said.