TAMPA, Fla. - The mother who made the life-saving decision to jump with her two children from the second floor of a burning apartment building in Tampa was being called a "hero" by loved ones Wednesday.
Firefighters said french fries that were left unattended sparked the flames that engulfed eight units at the Cordova Apartments on North 22nd Street a day earlier.
As the fire spread to the upper units, Jannatul Juthy and her two sons were trapped.
"Me and my two kids jumped for safety," she told FOX 13.
Her children were okay but she landed hard on her side and had to go to the hospital.
A combination of pain from her injury, smoke inhalation, and tears that have been flowing, Jannatul has been having trouble coming up with the words to express her grief.
"I feel sad because I don't have anything," she said, the last word trailing off into tears.
Her husband, Zaved Quorishi, was at work when the fire broke out.
"My son called me and said, 'Daddy, there was a fire at the house so you have to come immediately,'" Quorishi said. "My wife [made] a quick decision and asked my two kids to jump from the balcony and they did it and they survived."
The family is now staying with a relative, Sadia Jeny, who also lives at the same complex.
"I was devastated. I just dropped everything and I ran towards the house," Jeny said. "Seeing them not hurt, that was a huge relief for me."
Jannatul and Zaved's children were back at school Wednesday.
The family is relieved they're all okay, but unsure about what the future holds.
"I don't know what to do right now," Quorishi said. "Right now, I have nothing. I just have the clothes I'm wearing and my kids and my wife."
Managers at the apartment complex told FOX 13 they are working with the 20 tenants who were impacted to find new accomodations. They also wanted to stress the importance of getting renter's insurance, even if it's not required.