With smoke and flames swelling behind him, Everdean Codner made the unenviable decision to trust the hands of his neighbor postman Jermaine Shirley, when he dropped his 11-month old sons, Ishmeal and Israel Codner.
“I thank Jermaine for saving my babies,” Codner said. “Now I have a second chance to be a father to my sons.”
Shirley, 30, was getting ready for work at 7 a.m. in his apartment at 870 East 220 St. when he smelled smoke.
He got his wife and child out of their third-floor apartment, and began alerting his neighbors as he brought his family out into the street.
When outside, he heard the children's father calling for help, and his instincts kicked in.
Shirley headed to the rear of the building, where he found Codner, 32, on the third-floor fire escape, holding his twin sons. Shirley told him to drop the babies, and he caught them one at a time.
"I just thank God that everyone is safe," the post man told the New York Post. "I would want everyone to do the same for me."
After catching each baby, Shirley handed the boys to one of Codner's nephews, who had joined Shirley at the rear of the building.
The boys were taken to Jacobi Medical Center as a precaution, according to the Daily News report. Three of the building’s residents suffered minor injuries in the blaze.
Firefighters reported the fire contained by 7:49 am. A fire department spokesperson said its cause and the extent of its damages are still being investigated.