A mother and her two young daughters rescued two weeks ago from a two-alarm fire at their home in Boston's South End were reunited with their heroes Tuesday.
"Thank you so much Boston fire for your help and bringing my family to safety," Alicia Soto told her rescuers.
On the morning of Dec. 2, thirty-one-year Soto and her two children, Annabelle and Amelia, were trapped in their third-floor apartment on West Newton Street when a fire broke out.
"I thought for a minute that we might die. I really did. Before we got out. I was very scared," Soto said.
Soto, who is deaf, speaks through a translator and said that she woke to a special alarm that alerts her when her 6-month-old baby cries but realized something was very wrong when her dog Candy kept barking.
"All I could see was the smoke. It was very black and dark," she recalled. "I couldn’t see much far in front of me at all. We started going down the stairs and I couldn't see so we had to turn back."
Soto said she found a window and waited for firefighters on a balcony.
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"I was just talking to her the whole way down and the older one too. She actually looked and said, 'wow I'm up high,'" recalled one of the rescuers, Boston Firefighter Liam Pero.
The firefighters who climbed to the family's aid had the chance to see the family healthy and smiling on Tuesday. They also handed off some gifts for the children from the firefighters union as well as from neighborhood churches.
"We feel for these people every time we go to one of these incidents. The great feeling to come out here and give back a little bit," Boston Fire Commissioner Jack Dempsey said.
The Soto family is now staying with Alicia's grateful mother in Charlestown.
"Thank you for the firefighters for saving my family," 6-year-old Annabella Soto said.
No injuries were reported in the fire but officials said the building was destroyed. Fire officials determined that the cause of the blaze was an electrical issue.