On July 22, 1975 in Boston, a 19-year-old and her 2-year-old goddaughter were trapped in a burning building. A firefighter shielded them from the flames as a fire ladder inched closer. Then the fire escape collapsed. The woman died from her injuries, but her two-year-old goddaughter survived because she landed on the woman’s body. It’s tragic, going from the hope of immediate rescue to a deadly fall in seconds.
The photograph, which is a part of a series, shows 19-year-old Diana Bryant and her 2-year-old goddaughter Tiare Jones falling from the collapsed fire escape of a burning apartment on Marlborough Street in Boston. The fire escape at the fifth floor collapsed as a turntable ladder was extending to pick up the two at the height of approximately 50 feet (15 meters). Bryant died from her injuries, but Jones survived the fall, which was softened by her landing on Bryant’s body.