Mom throws daughter in car seat from window to save her from house fire – then dies in fire herself

08 February 2017

As flames engulfed their home, the young mother put her little one in a car seat and threw her out of one of the windows of the top storey of the house.

Shelby Carter loved being a mom. Little did she know that having her lifelong dream fulfilled would cost her her life.

The young mother from Wyoming, Illinois in the US, celebrated her 21st birthday on Sunday 29 January and was looking forward to the next chapter of her life as the mother of her 11-month-old baby girl.

No one would guess that the very next day she'd sacrifice herself to protect her little girl.

Read more: Durban domestic worker dashes into burning home to save trapped twins

The double-storey house in which she lived with her daughter, Keana, her fiancé and Keana’s father, DeShawn Davis, and her mother, Kathy Hardy, went up in flames at about 11.30 pm.

Shelby and Keana were home alone. As the house became more and more engulfed in flames the young mother put her little one in a car seat and threw her out of one of the windows on the first floor.


Keana survived the fall and only suffered minor burns. But Shelby wasn't so lucky. The smoke overwhelmed her and firemen found her body on the floor close to a window upstairs.

Read more: Heroic toddler saves twin brother from chest of drawers in jawdropping video

“It’s just incredible that she was able to pull her thoughts together to save her baby,” said Ed Foglesonger, the local chief fireman.

Shelby’s cousin, Shawna Burwell, told radio station WMBD that her cousin had shared a photo of Keana lying on her chest on Snapchat that fateful morning. The picture was captioned, “Mad about mommy moments.”

The community are remembering Shelby as a heroine.

Susan Park posted a moving message on her tribute page, “You're the true definition of a mother - willing to put her child before herself and willing to sacrifice herself for her child. Your daughter will always know how much you loved her. Rest in peace.”

Stacey Uphold, one of her friends, describes Shelby as an excellent mother. “She was very not selfish, very unselfish and her heart and her love was that baby.

“For sure, she’s not going to be forgotten.”


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