By CBSBoston.com Staff

LOWELL (CBS) – A Lowell mother is holding onto her daughter extra tight after an overnight fire Wednesday destroyed her home and everything she owned. “I was like crying and it was just so scary,” said Julie Collentro.

Struggling to breathe because of the smoke, Collentro made the heart stopping decision to save her two-year-old daughter by throwing her out the window to police officers waiting below.

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“I didn’t know what was going to happen,” she said. “I could drop her and they could not catch her. But honestly my first thing was getting her out. So I was crying at first but once I saw them grab her and like hold her, I didn’t even care that the house was on fire.”

Collentro made the leap after dropping little Kehlani to the officers. It’s a moment Collentro still plays in her head.

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“I was just telling them how thankful I was and one officer just kept saying, ‘no, you saved your daughter,’” she said.

She’s grateful for the rescue and the more than $4,000 people have donated to her GoFundMe page to help them recover.

Most of all, she says she is thankful for another hug from her daughter.

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“Just so scary. I couldn’t get me letting her go out of my head for so long,” Collentro said. “I just had her wrapped in a blanket.”

CBSBoston.com Staff