Mom who dropped 2-year-old from burning apartment thanks officers who caught her

LOWELL, Mass. — Wednesday morning, 20-year-old Julie Collentro awoke to a friend telling her the home was on fire.

The floors were hot, the smoke thick, they did not know which door to go through to exit the building.

Collentro, a mother of a 2-year-old girl named Kehlani made their way to a bedroom window, below them was a police officer.

The officer was Joshua DeLisle, the two shouted back and forth, Collentro was on the second floor, scrambling for a way out.

“She was reasonably upset and nervous,” said DeLisle on Thursday.

Within moments, another patrolman, Leang Chhor arrived at 98 Westford Street, scene of a fire that was rapidly intensifying and spreading to nearby buildings.

They asked Collentro to throw the child down to them, she feared she would hurt her daughter.

Patrolman Chhor said his only mindset was to catch the child.

“There’s no messing this up,” Chhor said.

Collentro dropped Kehlani from the second-story window into the arms of DeLisle and Chhor.

Moments later, Collentro jumped, patrolman Warren Greenhalgh helped catch her.

She had a lot of confidence in us and we had to make sure she believed us,” Greenhalgh explained.

Collentro asked Boston 25 News to put her in touch with the officers to thank them, a day later, as they finished another overnight shift.

“I just wanted to say thank you,” Collentro stated in a Zoom call.

The patrolmen credited her with being calm, following instructions, and getting herself and her child to safety.

“You were the one to get my attention, you were the one to call out for help,” DeLisle said.

Multiple law enforcement agencies are investigating the cause of the fire which left a 77-year-old man dead, and several others, including Collentro’s step-father, injured.