My top honors go to Mrs. Shirley Herrington, co-owner of the Herrington Day School in Atlanta. Yesterday the structure caught on fire due to an electrical problem. In the face of the threat she escorted the children outside. When she did a head count she noted that one 4 year old little boy was missing. That little boy became HER SON as she rushed back inside of the fully engulfed building that was full of smoke. She could not see anything. She had to listen to the screaming child's voice that was full of fear. She grabbed the child and rushed him out of the building.
The little boy survived the ordeal because of the actions of Mrs. Herrington while the act sent her to the hospital for smoke inhalation and other injuries.
The the rubble that was the Herrington Day School the television report showed the classic class photo where each child had his own individual still picture grouped together on to an 8"x10" glossy. The picture of Mrs. Herrington in the middle holding them all together.
When students from long time ago can come back, leave their own children where they once stayed and give a positive character analysis of 'their old teacher', saying "she treats all of these children as her children and thus I am not surprised that she went back in to save ONE OF HER CHILDREN from harm" then this woman has indeed made her place in this world and in the lives of many others.
A northwest Atlanta woman was led by maternal instinct Wednesday when she rescued a young child from a day care center fire, family members said.
Herrington Day School owner Shirley Herrington rushed nine other children outside, before plunging back into the choking smoke in search of one more. She followed the calls of the trapped 4-year-old boy and pulled him to safety.
"Her motherly instincts and wisdom stepped in," her husband, and day care co-owner Eugene Herrington said of his 65-year-old wife.
She was receiving oxygen and recovering at the burn unit at Grady Memorial Hospital. Her husband said the smoke had left her unable to talk Wednesday evening.
Atlanta Fire Department spokesman Bill May said the blaze broke out shortly after 8 a.m., in the lower level of the school in the 900 block of Bolton Road. Firefighters had the flames under control in less than 10 minutes, May said.
But Shirley Herrington took action before emergency crews arrived, her husband said.
She got the students out of the building and did a head count. One, Devante Lockhart, was missing.
"She went back in to rescue him," Eugene Herrington said. But there was too much smoke to be able to see him.
"She found him by his voice," Eugene Herrington said. "She would call his name, and he would answer."
The rescued boy was taken to the hospital with minor injuries and released, fire officials said.
The couple has owned the day care center since 1972, and their own son and daughter attended the center, Eugene Herrington said.
Another adult working at the day care center also had minor injuries, May said.
Eugene Herrington expects his wife to come home from Grady Thursday, and is looking ahead.
"I'm glad no one was seriously hurt," he said. "And it's really great that this happened in the summer when enrollment is low. It gives us some time to repair."