COWETA COUNTY, Ga. -- A teenage girl is being hailed a hero after saving twin toddlers from a home that would very soon be engulfed in flames.
The fire happened in Coweta County where 17-year-old Hailey Arnold was babysitting on Wednesday night. The Newnan Times-Herald reports that the homeowners were away when the fire began and that the babysitter was watching the home and the 2-year-olds inside it.
Arnold surveyed the damage as she walked around the remains of the home.
"That's where the mattress was that was on fire," she said.
That's apparently when one of the children alerted the babysitter to a fire in the playroom.
"Jared, one of the twins, he ran in there and he was like, 'Help, help!' and I ran into the playroom and the mattress was on fire," she said.
She said the other one was in a bouncy house already filling with smoke.
"He was screaming; he was like 'Hailey help'," she said.
The Times-Herald reports that she grabbed both children and rushed out of the home, then called 911 before going back to try and put the fire out.
By the time firefighters arrived, the flames had climbed into the roof. Fire crews worked from several angles to put out the flames, though, the home was gutted by the time they were brought under control.
"She was afraid I was going to be mad at her," grandmother Tonya Cox said through tears. "And when I come up it was the exact opposite that all I could do was squeeze her so tight."
The home is in shambles now. But the good news is that a teen girl's quick actions kept the fire from also taking two young lives. And that's why the twins' grandfather, Shane Cox, is focusing on that miracle in this dark time.
"It's tragic but it's like a glow lifted because you know everybody's safe," he said.
And the twins' grandmother intends to show her appreciation.
"I just want to thank you for saving my babies," Cox said.