BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Birmingham first responders rescued two children after a roof collapsed at a home and trapped them on Thursday afternoon.
The children are being transported to Children's of Alabama Hospital, Fire Chief Brady Johnson said. He was not sure of their ages or the extent of their injuries but police Lt. Sean Edwards says the children were girls around ages 5 and 8.
The roof collapsed on a home in the 1700 block of 7th Avenue West a little before 6 p.m.
Edwards said when police officers got to the scene, they could hear the kids screaming. He says the girls suffered serious injuries but he expects them to recover.
"They're removing a lot of bricks off the kids. I think they were laying on the couch, they were smothered with bricks and a lot of weight. So those guys just really jumped in there and moving bricks, and able to recover both young ladies," Edwards said of the heroic efforts to rescue the girls.
"I don't consider it being a hero. I call it doing my job. What I'm called to do. If it means getting two girls out of the roof that collapsed. I'll do it every day," Officer Wallace Russell added.
A family member says the 5-year-old has been released. The 8-year-old is being kept overnight for observation. Both girls have lots of scratches on face, arms and legs.
Patrick Kennedy is the grandfather of the two girls. he says he is just thankful they are going to recover. Kennedy wasn't home when this happened. He says his wife was in the kitchen and his grandchildren were visting and watching TV by the fire place.
There was a loud noise and his wife ran to the living room and all she could see was all of the bricks and debris from the roof and chimney.
The girls were buried underneath.
Kennedy says his wife called 9-1-1. She also called Kennedy and he could hear his granddaughters screaming over the phone.
"I do believe in a god, a higher power. I'm grateful. That house is 100 plus years old. That's all I can come up with, other than it was just the time. And being the time that it was, it didn't take a life," Kennedy said.
Birmingham Fire Rescue tweeted about the rescue efforts.
Chief Brady said about 25 percent of the roof collapsed, including part of the chimney. He said they evaluated the structure and lifted the house off of the two children who were trapped. Brady estimated the rescue efforts took about 10 minutes.
Brady said other people were in the home when the roof collapsed, but they were able to get out safely.