The fire started just before 9 p.m. Saturday at the Mansion Apartments located on the 200 block of West Branch Avenue in Pine Hill, New Jersey.
An EMS crew happened to be right across the street when the fire broke out. The crew called for help and went to the burning building.
Upon arrival, fire officials struck a second alarm, followed shortly by a third alarm.
The medics and firefighters rescued some residents, but several others were trapped on balconies.
Witness Mark Conover was at the development for dinner with his sister. He says his daughter alerted him to the fire and he noticed a woman on a balcony.
Conover and police officers helped lower the woman down to safety.
The rescued woman, identified as Jacqueline Brown, says Conover is a hero.
"The young man is a hero because I was pulling him, and he could've got hurt," Brown said. "I could've got hurt because we could have fallen off of there. But he was strong and he told them, 'I need help over here,'"
Brown said Conover told police he was going to drop her to safety and they should catch her.
"He said, 'I'm going to drop her. Catch her.' And then they caught me," Brown said.
Lonnie Hall, who has family at the apartments, says she saw Conover's heroic actions. She also went to help out people.
"My mom lives over here. I ran and knocked on people's doors to make sure they were OK," Hall said.
One hundred firefighters worked on the fire.
According to officials, the fire was declared under control at 10:27 p.m.
They say two people tripped trying to get out, but are OK.
Eight apartments were destroyed. The Red Cross is assisting 24 people displaced.
The cause of the fire is still being determined. null