NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A little boy is in the hospital recovering after a fall that could have taken his life.
An awning may have saved the boy, who fell from five stories up.READ MORE: Paterson Mother Charged With Murder In 7-Year-Old's Death
The family told CBS2’s Lisa Rozner how it happened.
Surveillance video from a store on East Tremont Avenue shows the boy seconds after he fell Monday around 1 p.m., and moments later people jumped in to help him.
Jose Garcia, 3, has Down syndrome. Luckily, he hit a store awning before he hit the ground. Good Samaritans called 911.
Minutes later, his aunt, who was at home at the time, ran over with her hands over her face, horrified, and first responders arrived.
Speaking in Spanish, she told Rozner what happened. The boy’s sister translated.
“He was right here. I was on that table eating, and my aunt was there making me breakfast, my two friends were here,” Mia Jimenez said. “From one minute he just moved to the room and went to the bed and he started taking the things we have there – he started taking it off, and then he just fell.”
The family says the boy removed cardboard flaps that surrounded the air conditioner in the window.READ MORE: 3 Teens Charged In Manhattan Subway Attacks, Police Release Video Of New Suspect Believed To Be Group's Lookout
“The AC was right here, and there was a thing right there,” Jimenez explained.
The window – which now has a guard – is where the air conditioner was.
Her sister says Jose suffered a broken femur. He underwent surgery and is going to be OK, but could be in the hospital for at least a month.
The store owner whose awning softened little Jose’s landing says this was gut wrenching.
“He’s too young to be going through something like this, but let’s take this as a lesson to those who have children that live in apartments,” he said.
Experts say one thing parents can do is make sure window guards are properly installed and keep furniture away from windows.
No one is being charged with criminality in the incident.MORE NEWS: Pro-Palestine Protesters Block Traffic On Gowanus Expressway
For more information from New York City about window guards, CLICK HERE.