BOSTON (CBS) – A fast moving fire forced a family of three onto their balcony in the South End Wednesday morning.
Seven-year-old Annabelle Cevillo-Soto was woken by her mother. “When it started, I was scared. I was shaking my legs,” she said.
Annabelle’s mother Alicia Soto is deaf, doesn’t speak English and was sound asleep when the fire started.
“She has the implants but she didn’t hear anything and she has this special alarm so that’s what she saw … it’s a visual alarm … she was sleeping no sounds at all. She saw the lights,” Soto said with the help of her sister, Katherine Santiago.
With her six-month-old baby girl and Annabelle in hand, Soto ran for the door.
“But it didn’t work because it was too smoky and too dangerous my mom couldn’t breathe that’s why we had to go out the window,” Annabelle said.
The three then went through the window and up onto the balcony.
“They put a ladder to hold me and they got me out of that before everyone,” she said.
Boston firefighters grabbed ahold of her and then her baby sister.
“She was talkative she said wow I’m really high up this is kind of scary the baby the infant was fantastic she didn’t even miss a beat not even crying they were all very brave,” Lt. Michael Guilfoyle said.
The single mother had just put up the family’s first tree.
“She’s sad she lost almost everything,” Santiago said for Soto.
Yet she realizes the Christmas miracle remains.
“I’m OK!” Annabelle said.
“Thank you for helping her and her kids and the dog!” Santiago said.
Now that Annabelle can gather her thoughts, she realizes she didn’t thank firefighters in the moment.
So before she went to bed she wanted to tell them how grateful she really is.
“Thank you!” she said with a smile.
The family will be spending time in a hotel and says they have to go to some follow up appointments Thursday.
“Everybody worked as a team today and we had a very positive outcome…it could have been a lot worse,” Chief Neal Mullane said.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Alicia Soto and her daughters. If you’d like to donate, click here.