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Baby-Sitter Saves Kids by Dropping Them Out of Window

July 02, 2006|From the Associated Press

PERRIS, Calif. — With flames engulfing the first floor of her two-story apartment building, Lisa Pina knew she had to act to save the four children she was baby-sitting -- including her own granddaughter.

After calling 911 and trying to distract the children by singing their ABCs and 123s, Pina saw Riverside County sheriff's deputies outside and made a difficult decision. Pina, 39, opened the window and dropped the children -- 4-year-old Ilean Garcia, 8-year-old Gabriel Parga, 5-year-old Aubreyana Parga and 4-year-old Meriyah Parga -- into the waiting arms of rescuers about 15 to 20 feet below.

"I just thank God that I was able to do what I did and the kids were cooperative and didn't panic," Pina told the Press-Enterprise of Riverside. "They were just very calm, and I was glad I was able to keep them calm."

Firefighters arrived with a ladder and rescued Pina, whom authorities praised for having the confidence to drop the children out the window.

"It takes a lot of faith on her part to do what she did," said Sheriff's Deputy Dan Ponder.

Ten people were treated for smoke inhalation and 22 people were displaced by Friday's fire in the 1400 block of South Perris Boulevard, including Pina's sister and three children.

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