A 58-year-old Indian woman is being hailed as a hero after her quick-thinking helped to save 20 people from a factory fire on Monday morning.

Jyoti Verma was making breakfast at 6:30AM when her neighbor alerted her to a fire that had erupted in a building that was adjacent to her Delhi apartment.

Upon rushing to her window, she saw 10 people crying for help from the third story as smoke billowed from the windows of the lower floors.

Verma initially thew one end of her sari to the workers so that the could climb from the window down to the safety of her terrace. Because they were too afraid to risk the 15-foot distance, one man jumped onto her terrace from the window of the factory.

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Not wanting anyone else to injure themselves by jumping, Verma rushed inside to find something more useful. In the midst of her apartment, she found a small bamboo ladder.

With the help of a neighbor, Verma propped up the ladder onto the roof of her terrace so that it stretched across to the factory window. Over the course of the next half hour, twenty workers were able to crawl to safety.

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According to one of the workers, the owner of the illegal factory locks the gates to the building every night in order to prevent theft. If it had not been for Verma’s heroic ingenuity, the employees may not have been able to escape.

“We cannot come up with words to thank them (Verma and her neighbor). For us they were God,” a 21-year-old worker told the Hindustan Times.

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