NORTH BETHESDA, Md. - Montgomery County police released body camera footage Friday showing a new perspective of the deadly August explosion and fire at a Silver Spring apartment building.
The video was part of a presentation at the county's annual Public Safety Awards Luncheon ceremony honoring outstanding first responders.
The natural gas explosion at the Flower Branch apartments killed seven people and left dozens more hurt.
Body camera footage shows officers caring for a baby boy who was dropped down to them by a couple trapped in a burning third-floor apartment. The frantic parents are later seen reuniting with the child, crying out with joy.
"I think about the fact there were people dropping their children out of third-story windows, there were people who were jumping out of those windows because they had no ability to get out of that apartment that was on fire in any other way,” said Montgomery County Police Chief Tom Manger. “It just really emphasizes how dramatic and dangerous the situation was.”
One of the officers honored Friday was the first officer on scene. Jeffrey Hughes was working off-duty at the apartment complex when he heard the massive boom. Ignoring the flames, Hughes went inside the partially collapsed building.
"I took a deep breath and I was like, 'Well, I'm going to have to go up there and see if there are any victims, try to save as many lives as possible,'" Hughes told FOX 5.
More than seven months later, he still became emotionally talking about what he experienced.
"It's just sad," Hughes said. "So it took me a good bit to just reflect back on it with my family and everything."
Chief Manger said the body camera video gives the community a glimpse of the great work his officers are doing every day.
"It gives the public an idea about what my cops are doing day in and day out," Manger said. "I couldn't be more proud of the men and women who responded there."
Previous coverage on the Silver Spring apartment explosion and fire from FOX 5: