Dozens of Georgia firefighters honored for rescuing 100 in apartment fire

DEKALB COUNTY, GA (WGCL) — An amazing act of heroism caught on camera– as fire crews near Atlanta rescued more than 100 people from an apartment fire earlier this month.

As Adam Murphy reports, the dozens of firefighters received special recognition Tuesday.

CEO Michael Thurmond proclaimed Jan. 23 as Dekalb County Fire Rescue day.  

“I’m extremely proud to honor the more than 60 firefighters that worked together on that cold January 3 morning.”

It was a moment at Tuesday’s county commission meeting to commend the firefighters involved in saving lives at the Avondale Forest Apartments.

Chief Darnell Fullum of DeKalb Fire Rescue: said, “This occurred at 5:30 in the morning–5:30 in the morning when most folks are asleep.  They woke up, they were on the trucks and they were catching babies within 5-6 minutes.”  

Among those honored, Captain Scott Stroup — a third generation Dekalb fireman with 26 years experience.  

Capt. Scott Stroup said,  “It’s very humbling to be a part of this.  I can’t say enough just how thankful I am to work for DeKalb County Fire Department.”

Stroup is now best known for this life saving catch.  Three-year-old Destiny Ragland was tossed to safety from a third floor balcony engulfed in flames.

Capt. Stroup said, “Actually getting to see that little girl smile and play with her siblings, wow.  That’s all I needed.”  

Also recognized, Captain Jackie Peckrul, a mother of triplets who caught a baby while on a ladder.

She said, “Everybody did so incredible and everyday our firefighters do so incredible and it was so nice to see everybody get appreciated.”    

Chief Darnell Fullum of DeKalb Fire Rescue said, “There is a brotherhood, there is a sisterhood between these firefighters.  Capt. Stroup even said if he wasn’t there he knows someone else would have been right there and done the exact same thing that he did.  And that’s what they do.  It’s a team. It’s teamwork.”

Captain Stroup said meeting the family of the little girl he caught was the highlight of his career.

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