TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Firefighters and police crews worked together to rescue residents from the Plaza View Apartments late Saturday day, but two brothers prove teamwork extends to the neighborhood.
23-year-old Cody Woosley-McLellan and his younger brother, 16-year-old Dylan Hester, had just returned to their home next door.
"I see the reflection off our window of lights just flashing," Dylan recalled. "I hear screaming." He told Cody, "That's the police!" He ran outside to see what was going on.
The brothers admit they haven't always made the right choices in life. But when they saw the apartment building next door on fire, the older Cody told Dylan to do the right thing.
"I told my brother, man, we gotta help them," Cody said.
When Cody and Dylan came out running, they saw balconies full of people who couldn't get out on the other side, because the hallway was engulfed in flames.
Cody noticed a baby.
"My brother Cody just screams it's a baby, it's a baby," Dylan said.
"This Hispanic guy climbed up to the second floor grabbed a ladder. He set it up to where the baby was and their family. I climbed up, grabbed the baby and handed it off," Cody said.
Despite police on the ground telling him to come down, Cody continued.
"I moved the ladder to the next apartment and there was this lady. She was afraid of heights," he said.
Cody got his brother to climb up to help knock down the railing. Dylan did more than that.
"I just told her everything would be alright and firefighters are down there to catch you. It's just simple as one, two, three, all you do is swoop your leg over," Dylan said he coaxed her.
"I guess me and my brother did alright, because she faced her fears and got down," he said with a smile.
The police officer helped the brothers steady the ladder.
Cody says the officers and firefighters are the heroes.
All he did was help.
"I have a 2-year-old son, that's what I thought about, my son," Cody said.
"There were a lot of people, they had to come out basically in their sleeping clothes," Dylan said. "No shirts, no shoes, no socks."
"My brother said, 'Go get blankets and hoodies,'" he said. "We just passed them out. We tried our best."