(CNN) -- A mother in Louisville, Kentucky, has died after saving her three children and two nieces by pushing them out the second-story window of her burning townhome.
Bystanders who noticed the flames helped catch the children as Tomarra Finley guided them out on Thursday morning. After the five children were rescued, Finley, 31, was found unconscious by firefighters. They gave her oxygen and CPR, but she died later of smoke inhalation.
Fire Capt. Salvador Melendez said Finley braved tremendous heat and smoke in saving the children.
"It was even extreme for us, and we wear all this gear," he told CNN affiliate WDRB-TV of Louisville. "We can only imagine what she went through. She did a brave thing. She made a sacrifice, but she did indeed save those children."
Karey Hudson said he saw a child hanging out the window and ran to help. He said a man delivering newspapers came running up and told the child to jump.
"'One of us will catch you," Hudson said the paper man told the child.
Firefighters said that smoke alarms alerted Finley to the fire.