VIDEO: Children jump from building as fire rips through NJ dance studio

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The man says they barely had time to help the victims down the ladders.

A group of children managed to escape with the help of a good Samaritan and the police when fire ripped through their dance studio in New Jersey.

The fire broke out inside a complex on River Road in Edgewater Monday evening and spread to the studio where six girls were rehearsing.

The children were trapped inside the burning building until a good Samaritan and police officers were able to bust through the front window.

"We didn't have that much time, by the time we got them out the fire department had put the ladder down and then the fire was everywhere," said Toni Nehmi, good Samaritan. "It was like a couple of seconds and then you couldn't even stand up there."

Trapped on a balcony with the fire closing in, the children first started throwing clothes and backpacks from the balcony as adults below scrambled to get ladders.

"I knew there was no time. A couple of seconds and I can see smoke coming behind them. I say, 'You know what, there's no time we have to do something immediately otherwise we're going to lose these girls," Nehmi said.

The children started to climb over the railing, but realized quickly the ladders were too short.

The first hung down and barely reached the ladder below with his feet, but managed to find it and climb down to safety.

But others could not reach the ladder and started to drop. The first made it to the ladder but the others, desperate to escape, just dropped to the ground.

Remarkably, there were no serious injuries.

"Our first responders here, everyone, did a wonderful job getting those kids out, getting the building evacuated and getting the fire contained," said Edgewater Mayor Michael McPartland.

The fire sent smoke in the air that could be seen for miles.

Flames quickly burned through the building that housed a car wash, restaurant and the dance studio.

It took firefighters hours to get the flames under control.
Related Topics:
firerescueEdgewaterBergen CountyNew Jersey
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