Neighbors help mom rescue babies

July 16, 2008 8:09:48 PM PDT
There is nothing left of a South Jersey family's burned home, but the story of survival that is coming out of their ordeal has amazed neighbors and fire officials alike.Last night, Momoh Cooper went to work as his wife Maryann was asleep inside what was the family home.

Something jolted Maryann awake. In the choking smoke, she grabbed the little ones and made it to a second story window.

"I put my head out the window and started to scream, 'Help! Help!," Maryann said.

About that time, neighbor Lizzie Cleveland looked out and saw "nothing but flames all over the patio."

Down the street, Jamel Hough heard screams and saw flames.

"Me and my friends we run up and see the lady holding the baby out the window," Jamel said.

"Two gentlemen said throw your babies down and I threw them down," Maryann said.

Chad Housleyand Jamel caught the babies, but the Coopers' 14-year-old was still trapped inside a bedroom.

"I heard somebody through the window, so I said kick the window in and jump and I'll catch you," Jamel said.

14-year-old Mori did just that and Jamel caught him, too. Investigators are still probing the cause of the blaze. Mori remains hospitalized, but is expected to recover. His brothers await his return.

The house was insured and will be rebuilt.

The family lost many things, but not each other.

Both parents, originally from Liberia, wanted to emphasize that while they may have lost a lot, they feel blessed and wanted their neighbors understood they appreciate the efforts of all those who came to their assistance.