Eight-year-old girl jumps from sixth-floor balcony
A young girl broke both her legs after leaping from a sixth-floor balcony to escape a raging Bronx apartment fire Wednesday night.
The blaze broke out just after 6 p.m. at a 17-story apartment high-rise on E. 169th St. at Third Ave. in Morrisania.
The 8-year-old girl old was rushed to Harlem Hospital in critical condition.
“She landed on the dirt. She was aware enough to aim for the dirt and not the pavement, and thankfully she landed on the dirt and that saved her a much more severe injury,” said FDNY Deputy Chief Anthony Montera. “It appears she will survive, but it remains to be seen.”
Neighbors rushed to the youngster’s aid after seeing her leap, said Linda Kemp, the building’s tenant council president.
“When that child was there it was my call to do what we do as human beings, and that was to protect that baby that was laying on the floor,” she said. “It was a community effort from people that live in the building.”
“We did it as a community until the fire department arrived and we hovered over her so none of the debris would fall on her,” she added.
Video and photos from the scene showed firefighters using a ladder to fight the flames as a plume of black smoke billowed from the balcony and people screamed in horror nearby.
Seven firefighters and one other occupant of the building suffered minor injuries, FDNY officials said. Firefighters brought the flames under control just before 7:15 p.m.
The cause of the blaze remains under investigation.
With Kerry Burke
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