Families rescued from fire

January 28, 2009 4:17:35 PM PST
It was a dramatic rescue this morning as flames attacked an apartment building in the 400 block of Hamilton Avenue in Trenton. The blaze started on the first floor of a three-story apartment building and within minutes the flames chased terrified occupants to the second story roof.

"I heard somebody yelling. There was a whole family on the roof. The fire escape had fire coming down so they couldn't get down the fire escape, so they were stuck up there," Kendric Jones of Trenton, New Jersey said.

Seeing the smoke and hearing the screams, neighbors and some city employees shoveling snow nearby rushed to the home to try to help those on the roof escape the flames.

"We heard the kids screaming and yelling, so we jumped over the side of the fence and the kid was on the roof, they were like 'Help! Help! Help!'" Roy Bellamy of Trenton said.

Fortunately, there's a firehouse literally just a block away and so Trenton firefighters were here on the scene in a matter of minutes.

"They were crying and hollering and screaming that was about the time the fire department came with ladders and to go up to help them," Beryl Ponder of Trenton said.

Firefighters rescued 8 people from the building, including 5 children who had to be helped down a ladder in the cold.

No residents were injured, but 3 firefighters were taken to the hospital for exhaustion.

Neighbor Aziz Masudi had a new video camera in his pocket when he headed out to work this morning and captured some of the rescues.

"It was really cooking; there were flames just shooting up the side of this house, the smoke was everywhere," Masudi said.

The Red Cross is assisting 8 families displaced by the fire. The cause of the blaze is under investigation.

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