Mother and daughters jumped from burning home: anguish and miracle in New York
A mother and her two underage daughters were forced to jump out of a window for their lives yesterday when a fire broke out in The Bronx that left several injured, including four firefighters, and homeless.
The fire started around 4:30 p.m. at a three-family home located at 746 Manida Street, Hunts Point neighborhood. “The flames were coming out of the windows and they were very, very intense,” said to ABC News the witness Mitzi González.
“The flames were coming out of the windows and they were very, very intense”
Mitzi González, witness to the fire
The mother and a daughter who were helped out of a third-story window were still in the hospital last night recovering from minor injuries. Their names were not released.
Other members of that family of eight said they were preparing a meal for “Thanksgiving” when the fire broke out in the apartment below theirs. The neighbors who grabbed the fire extinguishers couldn’t believe how fast it spread.
The damage was devastating, but miraculously no one died. Six people in all, including four firefighters, were treated for minor injuries. “It is unusual to have that intense fire at this time of day. Therefore, we are investigating the cause.” said FDNY Deputy Director Brian Shovlin.
Ashanta Smith was one of several men, including a postman, who were working nearby when they saw smoke and flames coming from the house and they ran with fire extinguishers to help.
Almost everyone inside made it out the front door, but when a woman and her 16-year-old and 8-year-old daughters, still trapped inside, were left without options.
“I see a little girl coming out of the window. I said ‘jump’. I went and climbed on the fence and told him to jump on me. I grabbed it, put it down,” said Gilbert Valley, who has a bodega on the corner.
He and his son were determined to make sure every last person got out safely. “They were hesitant to jump, but with the spirit and knowing that their lives were on the line, they knew they had to do what they had to do and jump,” Tyler Valley said.