A young mother died a hero after she saved her newborn baby’s life during a fire at their Illinois home Friday, authorities said.
Shelby Carter, 21, reportedly strapped her baby girl in a car seat, broke a second-floor window during the fire, and tossed her 12-day-old daughter to the ground below – saving her life, authorities confirmed.
"I guess it's the motherly instinct to take care of their young," Ed Foglesonger, chief of the volunteer fire department in Wyoming, told CNN. "We're all wondering why she didn't go out after the baby."
Firefighters later found Carter’s body in a room on the second floor of the home. Authorities said the mom died of smoke inhalation, according to reports.
The newborn was transported the hospital and was in good condition, according to reports.
The Wyoming-Speer Fire Department took to Facebook to express their sadness at the tragedy.
"Words cannot describe what has happened within our community today. We have experienced a feeling that no department wants to go through," it said in part.
According to Carter’s obituary, she passed away the day after her birthday.
Carter and the baby girl lived in the house with her mother and fiancé, but only Carter and the baby were home when the fire broke out in the living room downstairs, according to reports.
The cause of the fire has not been determined.
The family has set up a GoFundMe to help with funeral expenses.