A boy and a toddler escaped from a blazing apartment in the south-eastern French city of Grenoble by dropping 10 metres (33ft) from a window and being caught by members of the public.
The two brothers were unharmed by the fall, but might have suffered some smoke inhalation.
Footage of the dramatic rescue showed one of the brothers being dropped out of the window at least three storeys up as flames engulfed a balcony and black smoke billowed from windows.
To a chorus of screams from onlookers, the older brother hung out of the window and then let himself fall into the arms of the rescuers gathered below.
Athoumani Walid (25), a student in Grenoble, broke one of his wrists as he helped catch the children.
Although he was initially afraid for the boys, "when they jumped, fear disappeared, what mattered was to catch" them, Mr Walid said.