THE BRONX (PIX11) – Fidel Morales knows a few things about obstacles. Having lost an arm and a leg in a freak accident as a child, he has had to hustle to build a career at the Dept of Corrections. Little did he know another test awaited, unannounced, early Monday morning two weeks ago.
The fire at his Taylor Avenue home started below — perhaps by candles — and it was clear 12 people would be seriously hurt. Witnesses watched in shock as Fidel first tossed his 19-month-old son from the top floor balcony, then his niece, just 20 days old.
With a soft spoken earnestness, Fidel bristles when he hears some call him a hero, instead giving all the credit to his downstairs neighbor Wilgem Herasme, who caught the kids.
Morales injured his knee when he jumped after tossing the kids to safety — his good knee, he jokes. He and his family have been put up at a homeless shelter since the fire, and his singular focus now, is once again, to get his family out.