The mother of a Boston firefighter was forced to jump from her burning home in the city's Dorchester neighborhood on Wednesday.
Her son rushed to her house as soon as he heard the call but only arrived after Regina Robinson was safely on the ground, thanks to a guardian angel and, she said, some help from above.
"It's only by the grace of God, and God's mercy, that He helped me to get out of that house, because there was no other way out," Robinson said.
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Robinson says she's lucky to be alive, praising a man doing a gutter estimate at a neighbor's home for spotting the flames pouring from her home and hearing her frantic screams.
"I was yelling, 'Somebody help, I can't get out.' So he said, 'Ma'am, can you get on the ledge?' and when I tried to raise up the screen, it wouldn't go up," Robinson said. "I had to wiggle my way to get out the window, and I was on the ledge. He said, 'Ma'am, you have to jump.'"
Robinson said she was scared. Black smoke was filling her hallway, and "there was no other way but to go out that window."
Robinson jumped to the ground from a landing right below the window.
The fire was caused by a short circuit in a bedroom. The home is a now completely gutted inside, with damages estimated at $250,000, fire officials said.
Necn spoke with the Edwin Julia, who alerted Robinson, over the phone.
"I didn't catch her, but I broke her fall," he said.
Robinson's son, Boston firefighter Steven Perry, was on duty in Dorchester at the time. He heard his mom's address over the box alarm and rushed to the scene.
"Fires aren't kind to nobody," Perry said. "Just saying to myself, 'Please no, no no no,' just, 'Deny, deny, deny,' you know?"
He got to the scene just as his mom was on the ground.
"Just hugged and cried and was glad to see her," Perry said.
"He was just in tears," Robinson said. "He's one of the macho men, don't cry a lot, but he was breaking down, and he was just holding me, saying, 'Ma, you are alright.'"
Now Robinson has a message of thanks for her guardian angel.
"God sent him for a purpose and a time to help me get out of that house," she said.
Robinson is staying with her daughter. Her family is accepting donations at the Kingdom Church at 234 Norfolk St. in Dorchester.