N.Y. postal worker saves twin infants dropped from burning building

A New York postman delivered a miracle on East 220th Street, catching twin infants tossed by their family from a burning apartment house on Wednesday.

Jermaine Shirley, 30, made two clutch catches, rivaling anything ever made in Yankee Stadium, the Bronx’s more famous venue. He is credited by the family with saving the lives of the 11-month-old twins, Israel and Ishmeal Codner.

In interviews, Shirley and the boys’ father, Everdean Codner, 32, described the early Wednesday incident to local reporters, including from the New York Post and the Daily News.

Shirley said he was already up and dressed for his new job in Greenwich, Conn., when he smelled smoke drifting through the three-story building at 870 E. 220th St. Shirley, who lives on the second floor, said he got his wife and baby out and banged on doors to wake other residents.

Then he heard Codner calling for help from the third floor. Codner, his wife and the twins -- dressed in onesies -- were trapped by the fire.

 "The flames were shooting up from the second floor," Codner said. "We couldn't climb down, so we had to jump."

Shirley pushed himself on to an extension of the building, just under the second-floor window and underneath the fire escape on the third floor.

Shirley said he looked up at the father standing by the fire escape and said: “‘Drop the baby’.”

Shirley said he wasn’t thinking about anything. “I was just ready to catch,” he said.

Shirley caught the first toddler and handed him off to Codner’s nephew, Euwan Lynch, 25. Shirley said he then caught the second boy and jumped down from the extension.

The two parents were then free to escape.

“I had to jump from the third-floor fire escape, my wife had to jump from like halfway down the ladder,” Codner said.

 “They dropped the babies down and I catch them," Shirley said. "I just thank God that everyone is safe -- my wife and kid -- everyone is safe. I would want everyone to do the same for me."

 “I thank Jermaine for saving my babies," Codner said. "Now I have a second chance to be a father to my sons."

Three people suffered minor injuries in the fire at the six-family apartment house.

Neither of the twins was hurt.


Quiz: Test your knowledge of 2013's national news

Former BP engineer convicted on obstruction charge in oil spill case

Reno hospital shooting draws online expressions of shock and sadness

Copyright © 2018, CT Now