updated 11/18/2006 10:22:36 PM ET 2006-11-19T03:22:36

A woman was recovering Saturday from skin graft surgery for burns she suffered when she rescued her 4-week-old twin sons and two other children from a fire in their apartment, then went back to save a fifth child.

Firefighters found Nabila Nazli unconscious from smoke inhalation but still cradling 5-year-old daughter Nimrah to protect her from the flames.

“She was never really that brave before,” 10-year-old Umar Naseer said about his mother. “Before she was always worried about stuff like nutrition and all this boring stuff. Now she was saving our lives.”

Nazli, 38, and her daughter were both upgraded from critical to serious condition Saturday at Jacobi Medical Center, said hospital spokesman Michael Heller.

The blaze started in their second-floor apartment early Thursday, probably ignited by an extension cord, fire investigators said.

Nazli gathered four of the children in a front bedroom, then dropped the twins one at a time into a blanket held by neighbors who had heard screams.

Four-year-old Shamail and Umar jumped into the blanket, while Nazli realized that Nimrah was missing and went back to find her.

Nazli underwent several hours of skin graft surgery on Friday, authorities said.

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